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The Emerging Butterfly Economy.

The Emerging Butterfly Economy.
Presented at the Louisville, Colorado Public Library, April, 2011

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  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr. This is a subject I’ve been contemplating for a long time and I’m ever more convinced that societal metamorphosis is not only necessary but is well underway.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • There are three levels that need to be examined, the personal, the interpersonal and the structural. March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr. Our political leaders have been prating about a “new world order” off and on for almost a century. But the people have been told very little about what that new world order might look like when it is delivered. However, we can discern it by simply looking at our recent history and the dominant trends. The elite’s own think tanks and advisory groups generally conduct studies and publish papers from which the discerning reader can learn their intentions and plans. [e.g. CFR studies on NA integration and NA currency. Global currency consolidation (Ben Steil paper). Why and how do we allow the most acquisitive and domineering people to rise to the top? Politicians invariably promise change, or a new beginning, or a major departure from the policies of the incumbent administration, but things typically end up looking much as they did before, or they get even worse.
  • This is not the ranting of some paranoid idiot, but comes from the pen of an influential insider – a respected historian, government consultant, and advisor to Presidents. March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr. A human unity based on core principles applied by sovereign individuals within the context of autonomous local affinity groups. Victory will come to all or it will come to none. From Declaration of Ind.: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We hold this truth to be self-evident, that we are one human family abiding in the realm of life, light and love. c.f. Illich. Tools for Conviviality, Deschooling Society. Kohr. The Breakdown of Nations. Sale. Human Scale. Other descriptors: spiritual, transformative, harmonious, Buddhist, win-win, universal. Schumacher, Wendell Berry.
  • Compassionate competition & cooperation.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr. We need to get more value out of less “stuff.” In order to achieve that, the economic and financial structures must be in harmony with that objective, not in opposition to it, as they are now. The monopolization of credit (money) and it’s artificial scarcity make it possible to charge interest on money and capital. This plus the market dominance of large corporations lead to the discounting of future benefits and an over emphasis on short-term profits. When economists speak of gains in productivity, they are generally talking about “labor productivity,” i.e., greater output per unit of labor input. Gains in labor productivity makes sense from the standpoint of corporations for whom labor is cost factor that limits profits, but from the standpoint of earth and society, the reductions of labor input beyond the point of eliminating drudgery is not a reasonable objective. What we need to focus on now is resource productivity, i.e., greater value output per unit of material resources consumed. That is what is required to stop the despoliation of the earth, to create productive and satisfying employment, and to enable a dignified and fulfilling life for everyone.
  • The crisis of world civilization is multi-faceted. It is at once Environmental, Economic, Political, and Social. “ We are in a crisis in the evolution of human society. It's unique to both human and geologic history. It has never happened before and it can't possibly happen again. You can only use oil once. You can only use metals once. Soon all the oil is going to be burned and all the metals mined and scattered.” -- Dr. M. King Hubbert, a geophysicist Failing systems: Health, education, transportation, food.
  • The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it . Posted Jul 15, 2010 02:25pm EDT by Michael Snyder in Recession The number of millionaires in the U.S. rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009. More than 40 million Americans are on food stamps. For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together. The bottom 80 percent of American households held only about 7% of the liquid financial assets (2007). March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • How do we get there from here? What can we do to help the metamorphic process along? What needs to happen next? We have the choice between a hellish decline or “heaven on earth.” Which shall it be? March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr. As my research progressed, I quickly came to realize that the key structural element that is driving the caterpillar economy is the system of money and banking. It’s a matter not only of who has the most money and how money is used, it’s more a matter of how money is created in the first place.
  • Give me the power to create a nation’s money, and I care not who makes the laws. -- Mayer Amschel Rothschild “ The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it.” - John Kenneth Galbraith, economist, in his book, Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went, 1975
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr. Socially and Environmentally Destructive Centralize power and wealth Forces artificial growth Erodes the social fabric Generates conflict Thwarts government of the people, BY THE PEOPLE, and for the people Throughout the world, money and banking have been politicized making money an instrument of political power that adversely impacts society, the economy, and the environment. Money today exists mainly as bank credit that must be borrowed into circulation at interest. The growth imperative results form the imposition of interest on the money creation process. The continual expansion of debt simply with the passage of time forces us into an ever more wasteful, destructive and unjust consumerist rat-race.
  • Part of what the government borrows and spends goes into redistributing purchasing power; most goes into producing waste. When government borrows, it squanders people’s savings that it can never repay except by imposing higher taxes later.
  • The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled. -- John Kenneth Galbraith We trust conventional money because we are habituated to its use -- we know of no other kind, and because others accept it as payment.
  • Any cash (Federal Reserve notes) drawn out from banks is charged against your account balance, so cash is merely a physical representation of bank credit money.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr. George Soros projects total debt will reach 500% of GDP within the next few years.
  • US Debt Clock http://www.usdebtclock.org/. From 9 to 14.3; that’s an increase of almost 59 % in less than 3 ½ years.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Small perturbations are being amplified at each cycle. Enormous amounts of effort and resources are being applied in a vain attempt to put the system back together. What is it costing us?
  • Privatization of the commons. Banks throttle the credit allocation process and exploit users of credit by charging interest for its use. Central governments spend as much as they wish without regard to the amount of their tax or other revues. This is called “deficit spending” and its result is debasement of its currency unit, a phenomenon commonly referred to as inflation.
  • What we have now is worse than “taxation without representation.” It is taxation by fraud and dishonesty. March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • The good news is that we have the power in our own hands to transcend this destructive system. We need only the knowledge and the will to exercise it.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Waianea, Hawaii small boat harbor.
  • Behavior is determined by the situations and systems in which we are embedded, as well as our individual predispositions. [c.f., Zimbardo , The Lucifer Effect ] Which institutions are most urgently in need of restructuring? March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • It is crucial to monetize the local value-added
  • The standards applied in granting credits were often far too lenient.
  • This currency can arise when one of the members makes a purchase from a local non-member who agrees to accept the currency as payment for their goods or services. Local currency favors local providers over outside providers because it must return to the region to be redeemed (for goods and services provided) by the association members thereby providing a built-in buy local bias.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr. These can take any of these various forms: Ledger account credits, Paper notes, Smart card & stored value card balances, Web accounts with credits downloaded from, and uploaded through, the internet
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • And so dear friends, the challenge before us is NOT a military battle. There is no need to fight anybody or take down the banking system. We need not win any elections or get any new laws through Congress.   Our task is to take responsibility for ourselves and our communities, to find common ground with our friends and neighbors, and even our adversaries, and to turn our efforts toward the common good.   We need only to exercise the power that is already ours—what E.C. Riegel calls our money power —which is simply our power to give each other credit. As we build our networks of trust and cooperation, we will at last have peace in the world, and a world that works for all. Butterfly photos from Jay Cossey, http://www.images.on.ca/JayC/jc_g1index.htm March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • March 24, 2005 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.

Butterfly economylouisville Butterfly economylouisville Presentation Transcript

  • The Butterfly Economy How communities are building a new world from the bottom up. Thomas H. Greco, Jr. Louisville, Colorado April 16, 2011
  • The Vision and the Reality
    • The world is going through a metamorphic process
    • The Industrial Era is at an end
    • The new Convivial Era is emerging
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Three Levels of Change
    • Individual consciousness — values, attitudes, and beliefs .
    • Relationships with the earth and with each other—transcending indoctrination and cultural conditioning.
    • Structures —building new structures and institutions that better serve our needs (political, economic, social).
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • “ Green Shoots”
    • Transition Initiatives
    • Sustainability Groups
    • Social Networks
    • Community Currencies and
    • Cashless Exchange systems
    • Farmer’s Markets
    • Community Supported Agriculture
    • Peer-to-peer networks
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • The Old World Order
    • Based on belief in
    • Separateness
    • Scarcity
    • Violent conflict and competition
    • Command and control
    • Elite rule
    • Immutable and “ sinful ” human nature
    • Favors large scale hierarchical organization and centralized control to impose order and mitigate risks
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • The “New World Order”
    • Based on the same values and mindset as the “Old World Order”
    • Further centralizes power and consolidates wealth, by weakening national governments and bringing them under the control of global financial and industrial corporations that are in the hands of a political elite, leading to
    • A global totalitarian “super-state”
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • The “New World Order”
    • ” The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching plan, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole... Their secret is that they have annexed from governments, monarchies, and republics the power to create the world's money…”
    • - Prof. Carroll Quigley, Georgetown historian, mentor of former President Clinton, and author of Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time, 1966
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • The New, “Convivial” World Order
    • Based on belief in:
    • Human Unity & The Oneness of all life
    • “ Abundant sufficiency”
    • Non-violence, sharing, and cooperation
    • Collective intelligence and community self-government
    • Potential for human improvement
    • Personal freedom
    • Favors diverse, decentralized, small-scale systems and communities that enable freedom and self-expression.
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Societal Metamorphosis
    • From
    • Superfluous accumulation
    • Violent conflict, and
    • Wasteful consumption
    • To
    • Sustainable conviviality
    04/13/2011 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • The Old “Caterpillar” Economics
    • Promoted  
    • Continuous growth of economic output
    • Quantitative measures of value and well-being
    • Capital accumulation
    • Resource consumption
    • Labor productivity
    • Growing disparities of wealth and power
    • The Consumer Society
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • The New “Butterfly” Economics
    • Promotes  
    • Steady-state economic output
    • Qualitative measures of value and well-being
    • Restoration of the commons
    • Resource productivity, sharing and regeneration
    • More equitable distribution of wealth and power
    • The Convivial Society
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
    • Climate Change
      • Greenhouse gasses > Global warming/cooling?
    • End of Cheap Energy
      • Increasing costs of production and transportation
    • Resource Depletion
      • Fresh Water, Soil fertility, Minerals, Forests, Marine resources, etc.
    • Pollution
      • Chemical,, nuclear, noise
    • Industrialization of the developing economies
    • Financial Disruption
      • Bankruptcies & Unemployment
      • Currency debasement/Inflation
      • Debt growth
    • General Institutional Failure
    Mega-Crisis A Unique Turning Point in History Or 04/13/2011 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Disturbing Realities The Disappearing Middle-class
    • The bottom 50% of income earners in the U.S. own less than 1% of the nation’s wealth.
    • 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
    • The ratio of executive's pay to worker's pay was ~30 to 1 in 1950. Since 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
    • Squeeze on labor. A garment worker in China earns 86 cents/hour, in Cambodia 22 cents/hour.
    • Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, 32% more than in 2008.
    04/13/2011 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Wealth Distribution more unbalanced than Income Distribution (2004) Wealth Income 04/13/2011 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Rising Income Inequality 07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • What Must Be Done?
    • Transcend the Political Debt-money System
    • Rebuild Local Economies
    • Phase out our Dependence Upon Fossil Fuels
    • Decouple Livelihood/Income from Work
    • Distribute Production More Equitably
    • Stabilize Population
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Money-the Key Factor
    • Specialization of labor means that we must acquire most of what we need by trading with others.
    • Money has been politicized and monopolized, and made an instrument of power.
    • Whoever controls money controls everything.
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Money – the Primary Lever for Centralizing Power and Concentrating Wealth
    • Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce.
    • - President James A. Garfield
    • Those who create and issue money and credit direct the policies of government and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people .
    • - Sir Reginald McKenna, former President of the Midland Bank of England
    • … I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale .
    • - Thomas Jefferson, 3rd US President, in a letter to John Taylor
    07/12/11 Prepared by Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Dysfunctions of Political Money and Banking
    • The Growth Imperative
    • Institutionalized interest/usury forces cancerous growth.
    • Money is kept artificially scarce
    • Money is mis-allocated
    • Money is expensive
    • Concentrates power and wealth in the hands of a few unelected people who are unresponsive to the needs and wishes of the people.
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • The Central Government-Central Bank Nexus
    • The Bank of England was the prototype central bank.
    • The banking cartel enjoys special privileges granted by the government.
    • The government, in return, gets to spend as much as it wants without regard to limited tax revenues (by deficit spending).
    • The Money Power is the Mother of All Monopolies
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • The Substance of Modern Money is Credit
    • Modern money is nothing more than credit - a promise.
    • Money typically takes the form of
    • Bank deposits that are created when banks make “loans,” or
    • Currency notes emitted by the central bank.
    • Why do we trust these forms of money?
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • The Creation of Bank Debt-Money as Deposits Debt Money Mortgage note Banks create money in the form of “deposits” or account balances when a “loan” is granted. As interest accrues, the supply of money available for repayment becomes deficient. 04/13/2011 Thomas H. Greco, Jr. Bank Mortgage Note (asset) Account Deposit (liability)
  • 07/12/11 Prepared by Thomas H. Greco, Jr. F=P(1+i) n
  • 07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Growth of One Dollar at Compound Interest 07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr. 6% 10% 50 years $18.42 $117.39 100 years $339.30 $13,780.65 200 years $115,124. $189,906,200.
  • 07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • United States National Government Debt $14.3 trillion as of April 1, 2011 (not including guarantees) 04/13/2011 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • U.S Government Revenues minus Spending 07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
    • The political money system is shaking itself apart
    • Bubble-and-bust cycles are becoming ever more extreme
    • Explosive expansion of debt and debasement of the money
    Systemic Failure of Conventional Money and Banking 04/13/2011 Thomas H. Greco, Jr. Bubble Bust
  • Essential Elements of the Political Money System
    • Credit Monopoly by the banking cartel headed by
    • The central bank , whose currency is granted the privileged status of
    • Legal tender
    • Credit money lent into circulation at interest , which requires the
      • Endless expansion of debt
      • By lending to either the private sector or the public sector.
  • The Credit Commons Central Government Private sector “loans” The credit commons is the virtual pool of credit that enables economic exchange. In the current system, it can be accessed only by “ borrowing” from banks! Public sector “loans” “ loans” Banks
  • Parasitic Drains Finance War and Enrich a Few 07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr. Interest Inflation Taxes The Economy
  • Unreliable Bank Credit
    • The availability of credit to the productive sector, especially to SMEs, is becoming ever more uncertain and unreliable
    • The political money system favors the demands of
      • BIG banks,
      • BIG corporations and
      • BIG government.
  • Building the Butterfly Economy Toward Sustainability, Relocalization, and a Dignified Life for All
  • Community Empowerment Through the Liberation of Exchange and Finance
    • How to Insulate , but not Isolate , the local economy to:
    • Enhance economic vitality,
    • Reduce exploitation,
    • Enable self-determination, and
    • Optimize the community's standard of living and quality of life?
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Relocalization - Building Safe Harbors A rising tide may lift all boats, but the tidal wave of globalization smashes all but the biggest.
  • Personal and Community Action Use your power!
    • Invest in the Butterfly , Not the Caterpillar. Apply available resources to strengthen your community.
    • Reclaim the Credit Commons by Organizing Local Cashless Exchange Associations
    • Share * Cooperate * Organize
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • From Wall Street to Main Street
    • Spend locally
    • Save locally
    • Invest locally
    • Apply dollar resources to projects that:
    • Make the local community more resilient and self-reliant.
    • Provide greater local security in food, energy, housing and other necessities.
    • Improve the overall quality of life.
    • Protect against inflation of the dollar.
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • How to use your surplus $ to promote local ownership and import-substitution
    • Lend it
      • Community loan funds
      • Peer-to-peer micro-lending
    • Invest it
      • Productive real estate
      • Investment clubs
      • Cooperatives
      • LLCs
    • Give it away
      • Crowd sourcing
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
    • Trade Exchanges and
    • Private alternative currencies
    • are well positioned to provide SMEs and local economies with
    • Reliable credit and
    • Supplemental exchange media,
    • Based on the exchange of real value
    • By monetizing the local value-added
    Emergent Exchange Alternatives 07/23/2010 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Mutual Credit Issuance and Circulation 07/12/11 Prepared by Thomas H. Greco, Jr. Give each other credit Participants utilize their own credit directly within a network of trust. They allow one another to draw upon the common credit pool. Member - Issuers Member - Non-Issuers
  • The WIR Model
    • The WIR Business Circle Cooperative has demonstrated
    • the power of direct credit clearing both in times of financial crisis and in normal times, and
    • its competitive superiority to conventional money and banking in facilitating the exchange of goods and services among businesses.
  • A Successful Mutual Credit Clearing Association
    • The WIR business circle cooperative (Wirtschaftsring) was founded by the “entrepreneurial middle-class.” in Switzerland in 1934 as an answer to the money scarcity of the Great Depression, and still thrives after 75 years.
    • 60,000 business members
    • $2 billion in transactions cleared annually .
    07/23/2010 Prepared by Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Commercial Trade (“Barter”) Exchanges
    • In 2008, about 250,000 North American companies conducted barter transactions worth more than $16 billion.
    • About $11 billion of that involved small and medium sized businesses.
    07/23/2010 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • A Regional Currency Based on Credit Clearing
    • Members of the mutual credit clearing circle can use their collective credit to provide a supplemental currency for use by the general population of the region.
    07/12/11 Prepared by Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Community Currency Issuers and Their Basis of Issue
    • Municipalities
      • Anticipated tax revenues
      • Fees charged for services
    • Businesses
      • Capacity to provide goods and/or services
    • Associations of businesses and/or local governments
      • Cooperative agreement to issue currency, based on any or all of the above
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Mutual Credit Clearing Associations and Community Currencies
      • Provide Exchange Media That Are:
      • Abundant
      • Community controlled
      • Democratically allocated
      • Interest-free
      • Self-adjusting
      • Stable and Sustainable
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • My 5-stage Prescription for Community Economic Development
    • Institute measures that promote import substitution
    • Organize a credit clearing association to provide an alternative means of payment , independent of any political currency or banking establishment
    • Issue a supplemental regional currency
    • Develop social capital and basic support structures that strengthen the local economy and enhance the community’s quality of life
    • Develop an independent value standard and unit of account
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Benefits of Community Currencies and Exchange Credits
    • Provide an independent means of payment, reducing dependence upon borrowing from banks, thus reducing the risk of insolvency and saving interest costs.
    • Can circulate throughout the local area, supplementing the supply of scarce official currency and bank credit.
    • Enable local businesses to better compete with large corporate chains.
    • Enable more complete use of available labor and production capacity.
    07/12/11 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • Projects and Organizations
    • Transition in Action (378 groups)
    • Move Your Money
    • Slow Money Alliance
    • Green America
    • Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)
    • The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA)
    • Common Good Bank
    • e3 Bank
    04/13/2011 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
  • The Time is Now! Become the Butterfly!
  • Resources
    • Websites:
    • http://BeyondMoney.net
    • http://ReinventingMoney.com
    • http://transitionus.ning.com/
    • http://www.slowmoneyalliance.org/
    • http://www.kickstarter.com/
    • Books:
        • The End of Money and the Future of Civilization
        • Money: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender – Thomas Greco
        • Going Local & The Small-mart Revolution – Michael Schuman
        • Slow Money – Woody Tasch
    04/13/2011 Thomas H. Greco, Jr.