So I’m applying Permaculture principles to my emails to share some knowledge I was writing to a student but may also benefit all of you as to where we need to start shifting our investments towards.
A student asked where she should invest after hearing our 1 hour segment on Permaculture Economics in our latest Permaculture Design Certification that just finished last weekend. She is a bit later in life so she may not be able to invest in her own farm or homestead so this is a bit of what I shared with her:
“I would say Credit Unions are better, Savings and Loans ran down the tubes in the 80’s with deregulation…. they started out as well intentioned back in the day but got corrupted by bankers. Now a days the best bet is Credit Unions over Banks, especially ones like the Permaculture Credit Union.
As far as where to put you money for safe keeping at this point, I would say diversify ( a permaculture principle). Personally since I’m so young, I’m putting it into plants, a farm and things that will build a more Socially and Ecologically conscious Community. But for you, since you are later in life I would say a little in Silver and Gold, a little in Credit Unions and it might be worth looking into Slow Money and doing small loans to those seeking to build local food.
Socially Conscious Investing for where you are in life might be a good choice as well. For me personally I’m shifting away from the Wall Street model for various reasons, including the fact that there are laws that require CEO’s to turn a profit at all cost, whether it erodes social or ecological capital. If they don’t turn a profit they can be fired by the Board of Directors (this is how they build faith for investors in Wall Street, so they know their money won’t go up in smoke, however, this, in my opinion is one of the foundations of our ecological crisis). Eventually there is no where else to turn a profit from but from lowering wages or taking more from nature than it can regrow. This is where Cooperatives are a good solution for the workers and the community they live in because then they can vote if they want to pollute their land or lower their wages. It also directs all profits to them and not share holders. It basically applies Democracy to Business, where the workers each get one vote and the profits or losses go directly to them.
Another Response to this Growth model that only sees value in constant growth on a finite planet is BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) and CASSE (Center for the Advancement of a Steady State Economy) which is seeking to create a Steady State Economy which breaks down the constant Growth Model on a Finite Planet. Another Answer to Constant Growth is shifting our idea of a “Healthy” Economy from Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (which bad things like Cancer actually show up as a good indicator in the economy since Cancer treatment can cost $100K or more) to Gross National Happiness, which is what we are all really trying to Achieve through our economic activities. Hopefully this helps give you some guidance toward more social awareness of how and where to invest to create a better future for everyone.”
I could also add in about Usury, Interest and the infinite growth model we all seek to espouse but I ‘ll save that for a later date…
Anyways, I hope this helps you all out as to where to direct your finances and how we can all evolve into a climax future for humanity.