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The Story of Broke (2011) November 12, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, People, Sustainable Living.

Dollar-BillsFrom The Story of Broke:

The United States isn’t broke; we are the richest country on the planet and a country in which the richest among us are doing exceptionally well.  But the truth is, our economy is broken, producing more pollution, greenhouse gasses and garbage than any other country.

In these and so many other ways, it just isn’t working.

But rather than invest in something better, we continue to keep this ‘dinosaur economy’ on life support with hundreds of billions of dollars of our tax money.

The Story of Broke calls for a shift in government spending toward investments in clean, green solutions—renewable energy, safer chemicals and materials, zero waste and more—that can deliver jobs AND a healthier environment.

It’s time to rebuild the American Dream; but this time, let’s build it better.

Related posts:  The Better World Handbook * Crises of CapitalismJail Wall Street Crooks!The Story of Broke * Musings: We Are The 99% (Mirth & Motivation) * Why Occupy Wall Street is a Must


1. cuhome - November 12, 2011

Good post, Nancy!

nrhatch - November 12, 2011

Well . . . Annie Leonard did all the heavy lifting on this one. 😉

2. Carl D'Agostino - November 12, 2011

Your formula is precisely on the mark. But megabanks and megacorps and a compliant elected government ain’t gona let it happen. I could not allow myself to not vote for John McCain, although I did not foresee him the activist in the direction you advocate but had high hopes for President Obama. Under his administration not a single crook in the financial apparatus has been prosecuted and the megabanks and megacorps still operate virtually unregulated. The union busting continues and I can’t understand why that is popular in the working class because unions are our last hope to extort a share of the wealth for the working class not elected officials.

nrhatch - November 12, 2011

Obama has been an incredible disappointment to so many. There has been NO REAL CHANGE in D.C. . . . it’s just politics as usual.

3. Paula Tohline Calhoun - November 12, 2011

What a fabulous video! I havae sent it off to several of my non-blog friends. this needs to be spread around, and will be included in my Monday Joy post this coming week!

It underscores and makes very clear so many of the things that you and I and many others have been voicing. I cannot understand why we continue to subsidize the big oil companies. It makes absolutely no sense! Besides that, why the super rich do not pay their fair share of income tax baffles me! Warren Buffet has said that makes no sense – that those most able to afford it manage not to, in many cases, pay one dime!

When Jimmy Carter was in office, he had solar panels added to the White House. He also instituted a program that subsidized businesses that were working on alternate, sustainable sources of energy. There were many of those innovative businesses what were making remarkable progress. When Reagan took office, he had the solar panels removed, and also put an end to the subsidizing of alternate energy research. The result is that the most innovative people in that arena, moved out of the the USA to other countires where they had been recruited – primarily to Denmark. Denmark now has one of the cleanest environments in the world, and is a top user of safe, clean, and sustainable energy resources. (And Rick Perry said recently that if he becomes president he will abolish the EPA!)

I figure there must be some big argument against such programs that have made them less than feasible, but for the life of me I cannot imagine what they are. Can you?

Thanks for this, Nancy! Have a great weekend!

XO Paula

cuhome - November 12, 2011

Note: I don’t think the president has the power to “abolish” the EPA… that’s within the power of the congress. I always laugh at what these candidates say they’re going to do when they’re President . . . most of those things, they do not have in their power. President, not king or dictator.

Paula Tohline Calhoun - November 12, 2011

I definitely know that, but what really got me is that he would want to! I can see making some changes in how it operates, and have it less responsive to outside pressures, but abolishing it? God, I hope not! There is too little being done to protect the environment now. Taking away any sort of oversight would be disastrous.

nrhatch - November 12, 2011

When Reagan was in office, I appreciated many of the decisions he made . . . now, with 20/20 hindsight, I see that his administration made some really DUMB decisions, including giving more tax breaks to the wealthy with the promise of trickle down effects.

nrhatch - November 12, 2011

Definitely share it on Monday, PTC! The more people who see it, the better!

4. lifeintheboomerlane - November 12, 2011

Great post. The problem with this is that it makes too much sense. The reality is that those who benefit the most from the status quo have enormous tools at their disposal (like the giant country-eating lobbying machine we have created). We have only one tool, our vote. And what has happened in recent years is that fake issues have been created to mask real issues, thereby having people vote for a system that either doesn’t serve them or actually does them harm. When people believe that taxes of any kind are bad, when they believe that “family values” are more important than human values, when they believe that any regulation that helps us all means socialism, we no longer move forward as a society. Instead, those at the top accumulate more and more and the middle class starts to shrink. No economy can survive for long without a strong middle class. And that’s exactly where we are headed.

cuhome - November 12, 2011

You read my mind . . . and the solution is in becoming active, speaking with a loud, strong voice, whenever, wherever possible. The Occupy movement has had it’s share of “false issues”, which have been planted to make the Occupy movement look ridiculous. (Ex: the shooting in Oakland, CA had nothing to do with the Occupy movement, but one cable station didn’t have to do anything more than imply that the shooting and Occupy were related). The powers that be will stop at nothing to stomp out whatever and whoever they believe are threatening their power. Be careful about those single-issues that get blown up out of proportion. About the time you’re thinking, “Ya, but what’s going on with the wars? Did they just go away?” No. They didn’t just go away. Your attention was intentionally diverted, just as it’s being diverted now with implications that Occupy is responsible for all these local crimes.

nrhatch - November 12, 2011

We need to listen to Warren Buffet, and start taxing the rich. They can afford it.

We need to end subsidies to BIG OIL and other polluters and level the playing field for those who are trying to end our reliance on fossil fuels.

Since the Republicans and Democrats both strive to maintain the status quo in DC . . . I think we should ALL start voting for the GREEN PARTY candidate. Shake things up a bit. 😉

5. Judith - November 12, 2011

“Great post. The problem with this is that it makes too much sense.” Hear hear.

nrhatch - November 12, 2011

Oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of New Zealand should NOT still be happening! Time to protect this precious planet and all its inhabitants by telling BIG OIL to clean up its act.

6. sufilight - November 12, 2011

Have shared in Facebook!

nrhatch - November 12, 2011

Thanks, Marie! The more people who see it, the better. We need REAL CHANGE in DC. The kind that Obama promised and failed to deliver.

7. souldipper - November 12, 2011

Hear hear, Nancy. Name a country that doesn’t need to do self-assessment.

Fixing an ineffective system is senseless. A new approach is surely the way to come through.

Let the old process implode!

Simple ideas are called stupid until they work.

nrhatch - November 12, 2011

Bermuda seems to be on the ball. The rest of us need to roll up our sleeves and get cracking! 😉

8. eof737 - November 12, 2011

Sad but true… I am hopeful that the economy will turn around… Thanks for the link up Nancy! 🙂

nrhatch - November 12, 2011

I just wish all our representatives would wake up to the realization that they are supposed to be representing US!

9. jannatwrites - November 12, 2011

As a voter, it’s frustrating that each election I research the candidates so I can decide who I think will be the least damaging choice. It feels like the old reality show, Fear Factor – I get to pick if I want to eat hissing cockroaches or maggots.

The economy does need help. The question is, can we break free from the pull of “we’ve always done it this way?”

nrhatch - November 12, 2011

Well put, Janna. We should not have to choose between hissing cockroaches or maggots. But that is EXACTLY how it feels lately when I go to the polls.

Politicians need to open their eyes and realize how short-sighted they’ve been. Maybe their kids will encourage them to do better.

10. Pocket Perspectives - November 12, 2011

Excellent video…I linked it to 3 other people…thanks!

nrhatch - November 12, 2011

Excellent. The more people who see it, the better.

11. jakesprinter - November 13, 2011

Awesome post 🙂

nrhatch - November 13, 2011

Thanks, Jake! Annie did all the hard work.

12. kateshrewsday - November 13, 2011

Redistributing what there is: a utopian solution which depends on a critical number of people at the top of the pile having the integrity to see beyond their own situations. It’s always possible…

nrhatch - November 13, 2011

I keep hoping they will open up their eyes, their hearts, and their pocketbooks! 😉

13. SidevieW - November 13, 2011

It is time for the American Revolution.
You guys started out as a hope, now as greed overtakes those with power, power must be wrested from them and life returned to simpler and kinder modes

nrhatch - November 13, 2011

You’re spot on, Sidey. It’s time once again to throw of “taxation without representation.”

14. Monday Joy « - November 14, 2011

[…] Nancy Hatch of Spirit Lights the Way put up a terrific YouTube video this past week that is well worth watching, and then passing it on!  In the video we are given some very simple facts – which should be obvious to all of us – but which are unfortunately either unknown or ignored.  Make sure to visit this post today – even if you have seen it before.  It bears repeating! Read, subscribe, learn, and enjoy! […]

15. Tilly Bud - November 14, 2011

It seems to be the same story all around the world 😦

nrhatch - November 14, 2011

All the more reason to change what isn’t working.

16. colonialist - November 14, 2011

We may all fully agree, but those with vested interests don’t – and THEY carry the clout!

nrhatch - November 14, 2011

So did Saddam Hussein, Catherine the Great, Louis XIV, Ghaddafi, and the Roman Empire.

The bigger they are . . . the harder they fall.

17. Dounia - November 15, 2011

Thanks for posting this Nancy – I had seen the first part, but I hadn’t seen this one yet. It’s frustrating to see that the solutions are right there, but getting people to implement them is so difficult. And everytime someone promises change and you hope it will happen, it’s just another letdown. I wonder what it would take to really get the right changes happening. And like you said in an earlier comment, it really does seem like it’s time again to pull out “taxation without representation”, but that’s what is so worrying…

nrhatch - November 15, 2011

I flow between hope and despair for the future . . . I wonder and ponder whether change will come in time.

I try not to grow attached to my opinions at either end of the continuum. What will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see.

18. CMSmith - November 15, 2011

Que Sera.
We can only do what we can do. You speak out about the things that matter to you, and you reach what appears to be a fairly large audience. As someone once said to me, “Keep going.”

nrhatch - November 15, 2011

I do try to share information about things that matter to me . . . without becoming too focused on reaching a pre-determined destination.

If we put the thought out there . . . we’ve done our part. If others pick up the torch, great. If not, que sera. 😉

Write on!

19. Chad - November 21, 2011

This seems to contradict your “parable” from a few months ago.

nrhatch - November 21, 2011

Not really. I’m in favor of EVERYONE paying their fair share of taxes . . . I’m not in favor of “freeloaders” who goof off while sticking their hands out for “charity” from the more disciplined members of socity . . . nor do I feel that the “uber rich” should use their power to avoid paying their fair share.

I’d be in favor of a 10% tax across the board. And in favor of using those taxes to create a more sustainable future for the planet.

Chad - November 22, 2011

While that sounds fair on paper, a 10% tax on those who earn minimum wage or less would result in them going hungry or cold (they already go without health care in most cases.) Unless they’re going to get either a raise or some kind of new social benefits out of the deal, this is a rather crushing proposition. I also object to the blanket terms freeloader and disciplined, but that’s not important.

nrhatch - November 22, 2011

Duly noted.

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