Star Ford

Essays on lots of things since 1989.

Village Economics: A theory of economics for a high quality of life in a village

The discipline of economics seems to muddle everything. Specifically, measurements and indicators are seen as ultimate goals. Money, the principal economic tool, takes on independent value within the discipline and therefore in policy. Money-focused policymakers then neglect the quality of life, which is the whole point of economics in my view. Since policies target the indicators of quality of life directly, such as interest rates or GNP1 (rather than targeting the quality of life, which indirectly results in an affect on the monetary indicators), they reduce the accuracy of the indicators and therefore reduce the overall ability to manage the economy.

The situation is analogous to focusing on the tools of publishing (media) to the total neglect of what the tools are in service of: literature. While the study of media is interesting and important, it is ultimately only a container for literature (in the general sense). If, for example, the sales of a book are an indicator of the quality of the literature in the book, and the cost of book production drops, and consequently the sales increase, the quality of the literature cannot be presumed to have increased. Similarly, money itself may be fascinating, but it is only a tool to facilitate labor exchange. And labor is the primary variable in the quality of life.

In this article I am discussing village economics. I am using the word “village” for any manageable population. It is very important for me to think of economics in terms of a village, because I can visualize the quality of life in a village. My mind can encompass the entire economic activity of a village, but I can’t grasp at once the whole economy of an industrial country. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bubble-up democracy: a proposal for a third branch of government

The proposal is to set up a metro area-wide bubble-up public leadership process using existing social structures such as neighborhood associations, with the eventual goal that the process is handed over to government, and that the planning documents written by the public through the process get legal status as official ruling documents. Please refer to the article “Good Government” for the theoretical vision towards which this proposal aims. Read the rest of this entry »

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