Wall St. protesters want a new economy

Tinkering with our current economic system will not solve our problems.

Lee Samelson — Daily reader

The real longing expressed in Occupy Wall Street is to change the national conversation on the economy that is clearly caught in a trap.

Trillions of dollars in government debt have been spent in exchange for a few hundred billion dollars worth of GDP economic âÄúgrowthâÄù âÄî a lousy deal for temporary relief. This is why further long term economic progress will hinge upon creative, unorthodox, out-of-the-box thinkers getting a seat at the decision-making table.

In general, we cannot solve an out-of-the-box problem with in-the-box thinking. Those who cling to the flawed system even when superior alternatives exist have been squandering our governmentâÄôs power to subsidize on dangerously misdirected endeavors of corporate socialism.

For example, President Barack Obama could give former World Bank economist Herman Daly a seat at the decision making table that Lawrence Summers, Robert Rubin and Timothy Geithner were privileged to have a place at. DalyâÄôs proposal for a steady-state economy has been around for three decades or so.

How about the economic system proposed by Philip Smith and Manfred Max-Neef or the market-based, green tax corrections put forth by Paul Hawken? William McDonoughâÄôs Cradle to Cradle proposal also provides creative solutions.

There is a plentiful variety of newer books with articulate blueprints for remaking the economy in a sustainable way, such as Bill McKibbenâÄôs âÄúDeep EconomyâÄù and David KortenâÄôs âÄúAgenda for a New Economy.âÄù

Whatever the solution, the point is that tweaking our current economy will not work. Instead, we need a fundamental rethinking and rebuilding.

LetâÄôs utilize this emerging movement to prevent orthodox authoritarianism from succeeding at keeping these fantastic ideas and innovative economic models sitting on the library shelf gathering dust.