The economy and environment are in a big mess and heading for worse.
People aren’t being given the full picture.
This site attempts to explain why and what could be done – in a simple, digestible way.
It’s increasingly likely this system will pop – we want you to know why and what we can do for our communities and families to prepare ourselves. We wouldn’t be writing this if we thought putting our heads in the sand was a good idea at the moment, but that’s everyone’s choice.
The way we produce and distribute wealth can be done in a fair way:
- Without poverty and exploitation
- Without wrecking our planet
There are vested interests at work and barriers to good information. It’s better for “them” if you are confused, but really it’s not so complicated! There are ways to protect your family and community, there are ways to protest and fight back.
The run through
We are giving you the Basics to start with. It quickly becomes clear (if it’s not already) that we are running a completely flawed system.
Corruption is then examined, because it’s important to understand why the system is tightening its grip rather than being changed and why our “leaders” are not proposing the solutions needed.
The section on Debt covers why there is so much debt around (who is benefiting) and what a debt fuelled economy does to our lives and where we live.
In Depletion we consider why economic growth is difficult at a time of declining resources, especially with the added pressures of climate change, population growth and demographic change (meaning there will be more older people than younger in the West). Distribution looks at the effect of large inequalities between rich and poor and what a rational tax system could achieve. Summaries can be downloaded from Express
The changes we can make for a better Future are explained. This includes what you might want to do to protect yourself, what we can do in our communities and what policy solutions would change things for the better when we get the vested interests out of the way!
We have tried to give you the headline story and signpost you to other good sources for more detail.
Information is offered in three levels:
- In Express are simple statements based on our understanding: the one-liners.
- In the tabs, above, are summaries of key ideas and issues: start from the left and work across.
- Access to more detail is given through summaries, links and original sources.
We’ve tried really hard to keep the language simple and without jargon. If it felt useful, we’ve given definitions and common terms (in brackets and italics), so you can skip over this if you just want the feel of the subject, or you can read it if you want to get some of the “lingo”.
Why “Street School”?
Occupy Stroud has taken an Economics “lesson” out onto the streets, as part-protest / part-information sharing (see the “Express” page for more information. Further opportunities for learning has been offered. All the material here is for sharing, improving and re-use.
There is another project to share economic information supported by organisations like People and Planet and War on Want. There are useful materials listed for reading and the opportunity to join discussions: Econowhat? What we’ve also done here that may be of use is to show the connections between different issues.
Comments and Developments
We will only publish comments that enhance the content, by providing overviews of other useful and relevant sources of information. If you find errors or suggest improvements we will try to use them. You can tell us through the Author page.
We have not set up this space for debating economics: there are other places to do that (check out Unlearning Economics as a good example) and we want to keep this space confusion free. There are debates within the schools of economic thinking represented here, but we have tried to distil out the key ideas that are generally agreed. Levels of details can be accessed through the resources; we don’t want to include too much here to add unnecessary complexity. Vested interests have a role in unpicking evidence, to create a feeling that there is a lack of clarity; look at the climate denial process and previously the pro-smoking lobby.
Anyone wanting to share ideas on setting up Street Schools for Economics can get in touch through the Author page.