Saturday, January 24, 2009

Simplicity and the Economic Crisis

The Simplicity movement needs to move beyond individual solutions. Personal change is imperative, but we need to propose larger solutions. We need to respond to the economic crisis in more ways than just recommending that people turn their heat down or drive a Prius.
What do we have to say that would provide more jobs without contributing to global warming? The government should subsidize service jobs, jobs that help people but don't involve just building more things. And one efficient way to do it would be to expand successful programs. For instance, take the college work/study programs. We could expand this to small businesses and non profit agencies. The government would contribute 80% and the employer 20%. Since these enterprises are small and there is always lots to do, the new people could be put to work immediately. This would avoid a huge bureaucracy and would benefit people directly, both the new job holders and the recipients of the services. Further, these jobs wouldn't be as expensive and could employ more women and older people than the infrastructure jobs we hear so much about. (projects that can't be started fast and would cost more in the way of materials.)

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