This morning I have read an article by George Manbiot titled Kleptoremuneration, this article perfectly sums up the world of work and care that I see around me at all levels of society.
I honestly think all is not lost but equally I think the road to change will take a large shift in mindset and action by a large proportion of normal working families.
This change would take time, money and perceived loss of choice by a large group of people but would reset the way money and power is distributed throughout the local and global economies.
The change I think needs to happen is that normal working people need to change where they spend and earn their money. Currently the easiest and cheapest way to live is to shop, bank and travel using a small number of global brands but this sits at the root of the problem.
What I suggest is that people use their spending power to choose where and who should benefit from their business. There are fantastic areas such as Bristol that have pioneered schemes to keep money in the local communities that have had great benefits.
I’m not for one moment suggesting we shun global trade or never import bananas, far from it. We should support fair trade schemes and small traders all over the world. Etsy is a great example of this working; people can buy a large range of products from small independent sellers all over the world giving money directly to them. Ideally the platform would be a non-profit co-op style entity but it’s a good start.
The real changes could happen much closer to home, for example out local libraries that are being closed at a great rate could become a hub of people sharing everything from tools to surplus food.
We should shop locally whenever possible, this would have many benefits for the whole community. It would employ more people because more small shops could survive supporting more people and paying a fair amount of tax verses the tax paid by global firms, it would bring back a sense of community because when you see the same shop keepers regularly a flow of information is created.
We could also move back to using local services, buying food from small independent growers instead of massive industrial farms who could in turn supply our high street bakers and green grocers.
All of this change is perceived to cost more because large shops can discount products and services at the point of purchase but the truth is the money that is spent in large retail units is mostly moved out of the community to a very small proportion of the worlds population where as money spent in the local community or with individual sellers stays with a much higher proportion of people. This in turn means communities work together and know each other and more money is available to spend on areas such as the care industry.
Article by George Manbiot:http://www.monbiot.com/2015/03/31/3709/