A growing number of individuals believe our economic and societal status quo is defined by unsustainable addiction to cheap oil and ever increasing debt. With that viewpoint, it’s hard not to see a hard takedown of our national standard of living in the future. Even harder to answer is: what do you do about it?
Charles Hugh Smith, proprietor of the esteemed weblog OfTwoMinds.com, sees the path to future prosperity in removing capital from the Wall Street machine and investing it into local enterprise within the community in which you live.
“Enterprise is completely possible in an era of declining resource consumption. In other words, just because we have to use less, doesn’t mean that there is no opportunity for investing in enterprise. I think enterprise and investing in fact, are the solution. And if we withdraw our money from Wall Street and put it to use in our own communities, to the benefit of our own income streams, then I think that things happen.”
“We have to solve our own problems. The savior state and these institutions are not going to reform themselves and they are not reformable in any way that is meaningful. And so, I think what we’re talking about is taking your capital, which is your human capital, your skills and your experience; your social capital, the people you know and trust that you’ve created in life; and your financial capital and investing them in local solutions. Things that people need, like energy and food and shelter and a low energy lifestyle.”
“There is opportunity for technological innovation in greatly increasing the efficiency of our appliances and the rest of our lifestyle, as well as tremendous technological improvements in productions and so on. But there’s also what we might call social and behavioral innovations, which the United States is really poor in recognizing. The simplest way to cut your energy is to live close to the things that you need to get to. And if you have your own enterprise, then we might benefit on a household and a social scale of just living close to your job. So being dependent on corporate America and a job a hundred miles away – that’s a really fragile, vulnerable lifestyle. So if you can relocalize your income streams and your enterprises and live close to work and school, you’re already tremendously more resilient and have a much more sustainable household regardless of what happens.”
Also in this interview:
- Why keeping capital in the financial markets puts you at increasing risk of mis-aligned Wall Street incentives as well as declining asset prices
- How de-globalization, de-legitimization, de-centralization and de-finacialization will be major trends driving our economy in the future
- How investing in your local economy can yield a higher quality of life, even if your relative “standard of living” decreases
Click the play button below to listen to Chris’ interview with Charles Hugh Smith (runtime 43m:35s):