The Local Principle
The Local Principle
Date: 3/11/2009 3:40:45 PM ( 4 y ) ... viewed 896 times
The Local Principle
In so many ways, things work out better when done locally.
The bank bailouts have brought this long-held idea back to mind for me, where so many people are disgusted at the huge amount of spending of US government dollars that are going out to, and may never be coming back or actually solve the problem of, the large banks that are mired in bad debt.
The excuse used for these bailouts is that those banks have to be able to lend money to businesses, or the economy will stall even more. I say that LOCAL banks, smaller banks, can handle MOST of those loans that will help keep the American economy going. After all, it is SMALL businesses that are the biggest employer of Americans, and that actually do most of the work done in America, and small, local banks can handle their banking needs. The largest of American corporations have basically betrayed America by shipping jobs overseas, that have the well-paid lawyers who find ways to avoid paying taxes, and who have stashed so much of their profits in offshore accounts. Some of the largest corporations are in fact in the financial services industry that invented all these crazy ways to get the economy in trouble in the first place. It wasn't local businesses that did that.
There are some options for local banks to handle the larger accounts if need be, such as combining the resources of several local banks to do particularly large loans, one at a time - and you can bet that they will scrutinze the heck out of those loans. They won't likely be able to handle the lending needs of GM or DOW Chemicals or Monsanto, but there again are the worst of offenders when it comes to corporate responsibility. The idea of "too big to fail" is often wrapped up in lobbyists that can wrangle regulatory bodies to do as they please, like Monsanto and their GMO foods and corporate farms that have taken over so many family farms and squashed the family farming ways [where they are no longer ALLOWED to save their seeds to plant next year's crops with, a practise that is as old as agriculture itself].
Okay, thats my rant on the bank bailouts, and why local banks serve the people better, but please, read on -
There are other applications of the LOCAL PRINCIPLE, such as ENERGY. There is a lot of talk of the idea of "electrification", where our energy needs are more and more served with electricity rather than fossil fuels, and that electricity comes from renewable energy generation such as wind, wave, and solar energy. The big hurdle that will soon be a stalling point for electrification is the tranmission grid - those large wires that get the electricity from the wind farms to the people. The grid that exists now was set up when the large hydro-electric dams were put in, and the large coal-fired and nuclear power plants were built, because they were far away from the people who would use the power, and those wires would bring the two together. President Obama is aware of the need to renew the transmission grid, and has pledged to fund the project. However, I would suggest that if the sources of energy were basically LOCAL, then the existing wires would be able to handle the current, and the money could go to helping more people put up solar panels on their garages. Communities, such as neighborhoods or entire small towns, could set up their own wind farms close to where they live. Where off-shore renewable energy projects such as wind and tidal and wave generation can be done, large power users such as factories or steel mills could possibly re-locate to nearby shores or if they are allready near the coast line then build the power generation projects close to where they are now.
It has been the huge corporate energy sector that has been the culprit in much evil, such as denial of global warming, lax regulations for pollution, and the insane economics of importing oil from Arab nations has somehow worked out to power America, mostly through foreign policy negotiations that has made so many enemies of America by courting the Princes and other rulers of undeveloped nations who give so little back to their people [Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, etc.] [did you know that the Saudi's are basically paid for their oil with weapons systems, and by having American contractors build palaces for the Princes and infrastructure for their major cities, but that very little actual American cash is ever sent over there?]. But I digress...
LOCAL helps keep things honest, and fair, and importantly, efficient. There is allways waste and corruption when things get too big.
GOVERNMENT is another example of where LOCAL works best. If taxes were mostly paid to local governments, and then those governments spent it, then it would go a lot further. Federal government would certainly have a role, such as for Inter-State highways, but all they really need to do is to be a planner for them, to organise and orchestrate it all, but let the States do the actual work. The Dalai Lama has allways said that local governments are the only governments that can be trusted to help people [sorry Lapis, but it is the thought that counts, not the man saying it!].
HEALTH PROVIDERS AND INSURANCE organisations do their best work when serving LOCAL people, such as in communities where the health of the people really impacts on the well-being of the society there. The larger the organisation is, the most insulated they are from the effects of their work on the people. The costs seem to skyrocket when health care is done by Federal agencies, whereas those costs would be kept down and the savings would make the community a better place for all concerned that way. It would not be a matter of profits being important, but rather the health of the people that health-care system serves that is important.
FOOD is best, with the least waste and lowest emissions, when grown and eaten locally. You allready read what I think of the large corporate farms.
And so on, please add some ideas and reply to this post if you can think of other ways that LOCAL is best.
I will try to be my usual urbane self [ha ha] and say that there are things that need to be done on a more macro scale, such as monitoring the atmosphere for carbon buildup, and the state of the oceans and who gets to fish them to death. Relations between continents, and if we still see a need to have "nations" then them too, will need a global organisation. Oversight of things like human rights requires some degree of centrality, globally. Trade agreements, general economic agreements and the values of the various currencies also requires global bodies. The United Nations does a lot of good work, but gee whiz it is also so useless sometimes due to the bikering and squabbling of diplomats defending their own nations, often on issues that could be solved by empowering local governments and organistations to do that work - for example, simply getting clean water wells for African communities has seen billions of dollars of UN donations spent but so little getting done, but if that money were just given to the women of the communities that the wells would serve, it would have been done decades ago.
Thanks for reading, and please support your local charities, governments, and organisations.
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