Wall Street has a concept called “velocity of money.” If it is too slow, people wait around for the next buck; they’re unemployed. What makes money go around at a brisk pace is consumer confidence. Confidence begets activity. Activity invokes buying and selling; Buying and selling makes money go around. It starts at the base!
We’ve heard about trickle down. Here’s trickle up. If worry about where the next buck comes from pervades the broad base of the population, they will buy nothing but the absolute necessities, eschew investment opportunities and, economically hunker down. When that kind of fear trickles up, the economy seizes. The base matters. What moves the base into levels of greater confidence about the future matters most. Preoccupation with preserving the wealth of the upper 1% ignores this important truth, to the hazard of us all.
The planetary environment will fling its greatest challenges at us, but also furnish us with our greatest opportunities: the challenges spur us on toward the opportunities. Why not “mine the environment?” Ultimately, hurricanes are solar powered, as are all weather systems. So how many Sandy’s do we need to experience before we understand that we are talking about one hell of a lot of power! That thought alone should spur us toward harnessing all that energy, tetra-watts just shining down all around us. If solar power can run something like Sandy, the same can power our homes and industries. All we need is ingenuity and the foresight to apply it.