This morning I had a nightmare the magazine I work for folded. I dreamt I was out of a job and couldn’t pay my rent because I have pretty much zero savings. I woke up with my heart pounding feeling scared and dissatisfied. Dissatisfied not for my own sake but for the way the world currently runs. Dissatisfied with the unemployment and homelessness and greed ravaging the world. Dissatisfied with our entire economic system. Not just the current recession but the system in general.
I know I’ve written about this before but I’m tired of this ‘fend for yourself,’ and ‘rise and fall on your own,” business. Why should my well-being rest squarely on my shoulders alone? Why should anyone go hungry? Why should anyone live on the streets? Why should anyone scrape by? Why can’t we as humans reach out to one another and support each other? Why can’t we know the true meaning of community?
As humans each and everyone one of us has a right to life, to have our basic needs met. Every person should be guaranteed food, clothing, shelter, education and medical care.
This current economic system? It’s not working. If it did we wouldn’t be facing the problems we are now.
I am not suggesting we pick up communism because clearly that doesn’t work so well either. The best economic theory I’ve come across thus far is PROUT – the Progressive Utilization Theory. Prout says the basic necessities of life should be guaranteed for everyone. It values local businesses and local cultures. It says there should be three tiers of business: 1.) cooperatives 2.) private enterprise 3.) government-owned industries. It recognizes resources are limited and should be treated as such.
I want to live in a world where I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt my needs will be met. I want to operate on more than just hope and faith, although I obviously think those are important too. I want to live in a world where there is zero unemployment. But also a world where people who truly cannot work are also taken care of. I want to live in a world where workers are not exploited, where people are not commodities. I want to live in a world where there is a living wage. Where ownership falls into the hands of the people who run the business, not a select few at the top. I want to live in a world where resources are more evenly spread. Where I can pursue the arts, express my creativity and really enjoy my life because I’m not working tirelessly to survive. I want to live in a world where “homelessness” fades from our lexicon because it is eradicated. Where people scratch their heads in confusion when they hear the word “poverty.” I want to live in a world where everyone, everywhere is valued. And not just humans, but all of god’s creatures. I want to live in a world where we nurture the environment, where we protect and honor all life because we see the value in everything.
That world can exist, will exist, does exist. You, I, we can make it happen.
I know not only is another world possible, it’s probable.