Grateful Dead Shakedown Street
I do not believe Europe is pursuing a solution that will solve its economic crisis. Austerity suits Goldman Sachs’s and J.P. Morgan’s strategy of enrichment through asset stripping at the expense of governments and their increasingly impoverished taxpayers, but it will only increase unemployment and government deficits. I predict the collapse of the European economy as well as our own from the ramifications of European collapse and our pigheaded plunge into austerity.
In The View From The Center Of The Universe (Riverhead Books 2006) at p. 261, Dr. Joel R. Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams state:
The world is at a turning point. Not the turning point of this election cycle, not even the turning point of a lifetime., but a turning point that can happen only once in the evolution of a planet. Some may dismiss this as a ridiculous exaggeration, since it is so unlikely that such a momentous turning point would occur in our short lifetimes. Unlikely or not, it is here. If we take our cosmic role seriously and let our largest selves find the sanest way across the mountains we can come down the other side having created a stable and wise long term civilization that will allow our descendants to benefit from the amazingly benign conditions of our beautiful planet. If we don’t they may curse us forever.
The human population of the world has exploded since 1900 and now stands at nearly 7 billion people. For the previous 2,000 years before 1900, it had increased very slowly and no one had lived through a doubling of the population. However, since 1900, it has quadrupled. Primack and Abrams point out at page 254,
Experts dispute how many people the earth can support, but no one seriously proposes that the earth can sustain another population doubling.
Meanwhile, selfish, über rich, nihilistic, and willfully ignorant humans addicted to greed, money, and power are endangering our mother, Gaia. The industrial revolution is headed toward collapse driven by the systematic rape and exploitation of Gaia’s natural resources, principally oil and other fossil fuels, by behemoth multinational corporations owned by Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and the other too big to fail banks (TBTF).
Muhammad Yunnus and Jeremy Rifkin have shown us a way to cross the mountains and create a stable, sustainable, and wise long-term civilization.
Yunnus created the first microcredit program in Bangladesh. In 1976 when he was an economics professor at Chittagong University he created the Grameen (Village) Bank to lend money to poor people, mostly women, to use in generating income without requiring collateral.
With assistance from his students, he began by selecting the poorest of the poor and organizing borrowers into small homogenous groups of five people. He would lend a small amount of money to 2 members of each group to use in generating income and require them to repay the loan at 16% interest in weekly installments over the course of a year. The purpose of creating a group was provide a support network for the borrower and a group incentive or peer pressure to repay the loan in timely fashion. Eligibility for a subsequent loan was dependent on having repaid the existing loan.
Ongoing support was provided by the bank staff to assist the people in each group to self-select quick income generating activities that employ the skills that borrowers already posses. Loans and ongoing supervision, which included raising political and social consciousness and providing education about basic economics, sanitation, health, and family planning were accomplished by meeting with the borrowers in their homes, rather than making them travel to the city. To maximize transparency, meetings with groups of borrowers took place in a common area in village centers.
As borrowers repaid their loans successfully, the program was gradually expanded to provide credit for housing, construction of sanitary latrines, installation of tubewells that supply drinking water and irrigation for kitchen gardens.
The borrowers own 90% of the Grameen Bank. The government owns the remaining 10%. Since inception, the bank has loaned $11.11 billion.
The Grameen Bank’s microcredit program has been a phenomenal success with a 95% repayment rate on loans and in 2006, Dr. Yunnus and the Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In Jeremy Rifkin’s new book, The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World (Palgrave MacMillan 2011), he emphasizes the democratization of energy by the use of micropower to generate and store hydrogen in order to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels and create a sustainable lifestyle that literally transforms the world.
From his new book released today:
In the mid 1990s it dawned on me that a new convergence of communication and energy was in the offing. Internet technology and renewable energies were about to merge to create a powerful new infrastructure for a Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) that would change the world. In the coming era hundreds of millions of people will produce their own green energy in their homes, offices, and factories and share it with each other in an energy internet just like we now create and share information online. The democratization of energy will bring with it a fundamental reordering of human relationships impacting the very way we conduct business,govern society, educate our children, and engage in civic life.
We do not have much time to take back our government from the criminal banksters and prevent the economic collapse and plunge into the black hole of world wide depression.
Cross-posted at my blog and the Smirking Chimp.