I’ve been thinking about getting more involved in the dialogues and projects on the Civic Commons. In my inbox today I received an e-newsletter inviting people to participate in a project by America Today. They want people to answer four questions: How did we as a nation get in trouble economically? Who do you blame? How do we as a nation solve our economic problems? What are you doing differently to get through the downturn?
What I really like about the Civic Commons is that the philosophy of the project involves polite dialogue oriented around making the change we want to see.
Here are my answers:
How did we as a nation get in trouble economically?
There are multiple factors. The situation that allowed the disparity of wealth to grow way out of balance was one major one. Military spending rather than focusing on developing our strengths through education and investment in people and small businesses was another one. The way Wall Street and the banks focused on nonproductive speculation was another.
Whom do you blame?
I blame lack of citizen involvement and lack of transparency and too much corruption in the system–people not using it properly. I blame the Supreme Court a bit. I blame apathy a lot.
How do we as a nation solve our economic problems?
1) Stop killing people–defund the military and instead get those soldiers working at home on infrastructure building for a green economy.
2) Believe in a better future–the power of belief is amazing.
3) Follow up words with action. Don’t just protest–do community projects to help change the situation for the better.
4) Work on making sure our business actions follow our ideals more and stop the cynicism.
What are you doing differently to get through the downturn?
1) I’m working on better business practices–making sure our business is doing business well, ethically, honestly. This does translate into more opportunities. Our business is actually growing through this period, and the latest news shows Ohio is recovering as well.
2) I’m investing time in educating myself on current trends in my business and also am reading books on how to grow the business.
3) I buy locally whenever possible–”vote with your dollars.”