Booklet # 1, published October 2016.
Economic Meltdown, or what an iceberg can tell us about the economy
by Katherine Gibson
Do you feel part of the economy? That thing that we are told grows or stagnates? That thing that is monitored by financial analysts (our modern day sooth-sayers) who interpret fluctuations in interest rates, share prices, trade balances and investment patterns, and take up more time on the nightly TV news than the weather report? The economy, as we have come to know it, is presented as a machine that dictates our lives—it enrolls us as employees and employers, as consumers, as property owners, as investors, and tells us what is and is not contributing to the economic bottom line. It churns up people and spits them out when their wages rise too high. It ‘develops’ by accessing cheap resources, ignoring the environmental consequences of depletion and degradation. This machineeconomy is seen to operate best when left to its own devices— though of course governments are frequently called in to repair this part, or regulate that, or bail out some large institution or other. In this vision we are not part of the economy, the economy is something that does things to us…