The Economics of Happiness–God’s ideal vs. the destructive ideology of globalism

(under construction)

“The more nearly we come into harmony with God’s original plan, the more favorable will be our position to secure health of body and mind and soul.” AH p. 135

“The Garden of Eden was a representation of what God desired the whole earth to become, and it was His purpose that, as the human family increased in numbers, they should establish other homes and schools like the one He had given. Thus in the course of time the whole earth might be occupied with homes and schools where the students should thus be fitted more and more fully to reflect, throughout endless ages, the light of the knowledge of His glory” Ed 22.

ABSTRACT: God created all of nature and repeatedly stated that every family has a right to their own land outside cities and that this principle would keep nations stable (see Ez. 47:22-23 and numerous other verses at this link).   Every nation that sets this principle aside inevitably slides quickly into extremes of a few rich and many poor. This greed, which is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10), scientists now know is the cause of the rich thinking they are above the law on one hand and forcing people into many desperate circumstances on the other hand where they are terribly exploited and/or pressured to commit crimes. No civilization has ever lasted long in these conditions. Pliny for example stated that “Land monopoly destroyed Rome.” And mathematically it does the same now.

People without land have to pay ~30-70% of their money in rent, ~10-50% for food, they usually have to go into wage labor/slavery and other reasons, most soon become poor. As Roosevelt said, that is the stuff of what revolutions are made of. There are a river of evils that result from ignoring this principle of God.

Don’t be deceived into believing deceptions in the media that poor are just jealous, that they should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps  or that redistributing wealth to the poor is wrong.  No one in history has pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps. Not ever. First of all, the Bible says that God gives us the ability to make wealth, so all is dependent on His gifts and He has told us to treat others and their needs as equal to ours repeatedly. Secondly research shows that ~80% of the salary that most people make depends mostly on the country and family that they are born into (the spouse they married plays a big role too and sometimes the time period they are born into makes a difference as Warren Buffet agreed). This is what gives them most of the opportunities they have in life. Always remember that  no man is an island and that no one has ever in history at any time pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps.

The Bible is explicit that redistributing wealth to the rich is wrong and people who do so will be cursed. But in Nehemiah’s day, poverty was forcing parents to sell their children as slaves and his first action was to demand that the super rich give back all the land they had monopolized and pay back all the interest they had charged to the families who were being ruined by poverty (Neh. 5:1-13).  The same thing is happening now.

The documentaryThe  Economics of Happiness” has won many awards throughout the world and has long been ranked #1 at the Film’s For Action list of “100 Films to Change the World”. Links to watch it are below in several languages. One is here:

https://vimeo.com/162302072

“Localization: a Strategic Alternative to Globalized Authoritarianism” makes similar points and adds some important new ones.
https://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/localization-a-strategic-alternative-to-globalized-authoritarianism/

A combination of greed (rejection of God given land rights), a world with many immoral people (many of them atheists, but also some from false religions as well as pseudo Christianity), ignorance by people of how sadistic some people are, worldviews that don’t motivate governments and people to protect vulnerable people from exploiters and abusers and more contribute to situations like this:

A) “When a poor family in Cambodia fell afoul of loan sharks, the mother asked her youngest daughter to take a job….She was then delivered to a hotel, where a man raped her for two days…When she returned home, her mother sent her away for stints in two other brothels,..Like other local mothers CNN spoke to, she blames poverty for her decision to sell her daughter, saying a financial crisis drove her into the clutches of the traffickers who make their livelihoods preying on Cambodian children. ‘It was because of the debt, that’s why I had to sell her,’ she says. ‘I don’t know what to do now, because we cannot move back to the past.’”
cnn.com/interactive/2013/12/world/cambodia-child-sex-trade/

B) “Faced with starvation and complete financial ruin, farmers in the drought-ridden region of Bundelkhand are being forced to sell..their wives….One farmer in Jhansi, named Kalicharan, told The Telegraph that he had borrowed money to buy a water pump. When the money lender came for the repayment, he took his wife and three children.”I told him to give me some time to arrange money but he forcibly entered my house and took my wife and children,” Kalicharan told the newspaper. https://abcnews.go.com/International/drought-poverty-force-indian-farmers-sell-wives/story?id=8599840

C) Watch these videos by “The Abolitionists” an organization started by a Christian that is working to free children from the most heinous forms of modern slavery, child sex slavery and child chattel slavery.


(see more of their work at: https://ourrescue.org/)

D) “Removing our people from land is the root of all unemployment. It is at the root of the creation of slums and the rural urban migration…Making people disposable, in terms of working with the land, is creating probably the biggest human crisis. No human rights community is noticing it. No amnesty group has noticed it. But 100,000 Indian farmers have been driven to suicide [because of being deprived of land].” Dr. Vandana Shiva (with updated figures she now says it is 300,000 farmers driven to suicide)

E) “Removing our people from land is the root of all unemployment. It is at the root of the creation of slums and the rural urban migration…Making people disposable, in terms of working with the land, is creating probably the biggest human crisis. No human rights community is noticing it. No amnesty group has noticed it. But 100,000 Indian farmers have been driven to suicide [because of being deprived of land].” Dr. Vandana Shiva (with updated figures she now says it is 300,000 farmers driven to suicide)

F) “All we want is our land. Give us some land and we’ll work hard to make something, to make a life.” Indian farmers
“I don’t want to be a beggar. If I could have my land back, I’d go back to my main business, farming.” Indian beggar

G) “Using GDP as a measure of societal progress is little short of madness. If there’s an oil spill GDP goes up. If the water is so polluted that we have to buy it in bottles, GDP goes up. War, cancer, epidemic illnesses, all of these things involve an exchange of money and that means they end up on the positive side of the balance sheet.” Helena Norberg-Hodge

H) “We often hear about efficiencies of scale… But what we have developed is a system that could not be more wasteful…We have English apples flown to South Africa to be waxed, flown back again to be sold to consumers. The whole process involves incredible quantities of waste ” a British professor (name coming soon)

I) There are ~40 million slaves of different kinds around the world according to the Global Slavery Index (https://www.globalslaveryindex.org/).  If debt were included as a form of slavery as the Bible calls it, that would number would probably be over a billion.

There are many kinds of terrible things happening around the world. But there are also many solutions.

“The Economics of Happiness” has very powerfully written arguments with scientific references. and explain the severe dangers that have and are being caused by pretty much all modern economic systems (this is because communism, capitalism and the ~13 versions of socialism all ignore nearly every one of the ~30 principles of economics that God gave in the Bible and that economists have shown are crucial for national stability and peace and avoiding the terrible side effects of all modern economic systems).

It’s main points are that modern economic systems, the mass deprivation of land rights for families, materialism, globalism, dependence on multi-national corporations, the pervasive Hollywood propaganda for materialism and against spirituality and other concepts are beneficial for the elite wealthy and corporations. But since it concentrates wealth and power in a few hands, enabling greed (which many religions agree is the worst evil), it is very destructive for families and individuals, makes people depressed and lonely (with higher rates of suicide), insecure/deeply in debt, causes violence, crime, conflict and war, pollutes the places we live in and a causes a myriad of other abuses and injustices (you can see a short list of the evils that science has shown come from greed here:

To change this, we need to emphasize spirituality/morality/equality as more important than greed, emphasize land rights for each family, emphasize local gardening which is far more efficient, less polluting, better for justice and can even reduce terrorism/wars), encourage engagement in local markets/business rather than multi-national ones when possible (Multi-nationals are not always bad. In limited areas, they do provide helpful services.), encourage a lot of volunteering/sharing instead of use of the debt based paper money system (maybe even develop local money), etc.

These concepts confirm many things God said in the Bible were crucial for happy, healthy and stable lives and nations, especially the importance of local land rights for independence in contrast to dependence on multi-national corporations (you can see a lot more on God’s thoughts on economics and land rights along with much science and history that confirms their crucial importance here and here).

The concept of localization (doing as much of our buying/selling/interactions at the local level and from local people as we can), solves multiple problems in simple ways. People like Einstein, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson have said that simple ideas that contain great value so that anyone can understand and follow them are the highest form of genius.  It is exactly these kinds of solutions that God gave all over the Bible, starting with creation where He instituted land rights, health concepts, marriage and family, gardening, local economics, the weekly cycle ending with Sabbath, and many others, etc.

There are only really 3 options now to prevent massive exploitation and abuse of many innocent children and other people.
A) Demand that the super rich return all land they have monopolized

B) Churches must follow Bible economics like the early church did to beat poverty in its day. Ellen White says that the closer we get to God’s original design in Eden and His Jubilee land rights plan for Israel’s, the better life will be for everyone.  The documentary “The Economics of Happiness” and many other academic studies and examples, shows these principles still work today.

C) Exploitation and abuse on a mass scale will continue to happen, devastating the lives of many innocent people.

THOUGHTS TO PONDER:
Now you may better understand why God gave these principles to humanity:

  • “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:32
  • “Distribute the land as an allotment for yourselves and for the foreigners who have joined you and are raising their families among you.” Ez. 47:22
  • “…if these nations truly learn the ways of my people…then they will be given a place among my people.any nation who refuses to obey me will be uprooted and destroyed. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Jer.  12:16-17
  • R. Archer Torrey III,  missionary to South Korea, president of a theological seminary there and grandson of the president of the Moody Bible Institute says in his book on Bible economics:
    “Henry George and Scripture teach the same thing: that the space on the surface of this globe has been created by God and not by man. “Any man who does not have any ‘right’ to any space of his own has been robbed, and people who buy and sell space are dealing in stolen goods…To say that everyone has a right to work, to health care, to this, that and the other without at the same time recognizing his right to land (which is space)is to frankly declare that he is a slave. The United Nations has published a list of 30 “human rights”. But, they omit the right to land, which is the basic human right given by God and clearly defined in the Bible. If the right to land were recognized, the other rights would follow automatically and would hardly need to be defined. As it is the UN’s “human rights” are only the rights of slaves!” Archer Torrey, Jane Grey Torrey, Biblical Economics, p. 8. https://books.google.com/books?id=GqMhHAivCTwC&pg=PA8#

 

 

LONGER EXPLANATION
REASONS FOR THE RISE AND FALL OF CIVILIZATIONS

Why do some countries thrive and their people live in relative peace and safety with opportunities for their families and children to have decent, happy futures of various kinds, while other countries and their people are suffering from a lot of violence, injustice, war and even the kidnapping of children and wives for profit?  This is a question that has caused many discussions among scholars for centuries.  Some like UCLA’S Dr. Diamond have proposed that peace, progress, success and civilization are due to the quality of the environment and surrounding resources as well openness to new ideas from other cultures.

But Dr. Ferguson of Harvard and other scholars have criticized this saying that North/South Korea and East/West Germany have very similar environments, languages and cultures, yet have such vast differences in peace, freedom and progress. So environment can be at best only a tiny part of the answer. Ferguson proposed that there are 6 and only 6 answers.
“There are six which I think explain the Great Divergence. One, competition. Two, the scientific revolution. Three, property rights. Four, modern medicine. Five, the consumer society. And six, the work ethic. You can play a game and try and think of one I’ve missed at, or try and boil it down to just four, but you’ll lose.”

It’s interesting that the Bible gave these 6 ideas to the world, often in better and more effective versions, long before Dr. Ferguson.
1) Proverbs 31 shows a woman going to bargain in a competitive market and there are many other examples of free local markets in the Bible.

2) Dr. Ben Goldacre and others say that Daniel was the first person we know of to use the scientific method in clinical trial form (a number of Bible figures used various aspects of the scientific method even before Daniel).

3) The Bible doesn’t just talk about property rights for some or a few wealthy, it emphasized that because God created the world, every family has a permanent right to land outside cities.  In his talk (~10:00+), Dr. Ferguson shows graphs that ~80-90% of North Americans had their own land in the 17-1800s, while only ~5-10% of South Americans did. This is a key reason why North America became rich while South America did not.

4) The Bible pioneered ~40 different health principles that 1000s of scientific studies have confirmed as more valuable even than the medical care Dr. Ferguson recommends. They can help you live decades longer, help you double your money by your 50s (partly by greatly reducing how much medical help you need/have to pay for), help protect nature and many other things. Seventh Day Adventists advocate following them and so are the #1 longest living people group in America. Scientists state that SDAs have dramatically helped improve the health of the whole world as a result.  See many reports and studies on this here and here. A shorter summary is here.

5) The Bible talks about buying and selling for our human needs.

6) The Bible often emphasizes working diligently as well (Proverbs 13:4, Galatians 6:9, etc.).

Are there really just 6 things?  No. Many people have proposed various other things that can help civilizations make progress as well to greater or lesser degrees, including equitable human rights, justice, genuine and full education, stable families, the writing system that is used (some are far more efficient, such as the Korean alphabet, while others are very laborious and time consuming).

The Bible indicates that local land rights for every family and gardening is one of the very most crucial foundations of peace and safety for any society:
“During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden.” 1 Kings 4:25 (see also Lev. 25:1-19, Prov. 14:34, 29:2, etc. and Jer. 12:14-17 where God says that nations which follow Israel’s rules will be stable. Sabbath has major connections to land rights in many places in the Bible and this is one reason why it is so important. )

Nations that don’t follow land rights soon devolve into a culture of very rich and very poor. The extremely greedy know that God will not accept their greed, so they often try to gain more and more power for their short lives by advocating war. In time, they are so desensitized by exploiting and killing foreigners that they see no problem in doing it to their own citizens in various ways. Thucydides
wrote:
“The tyranny Athens imposed on others it finally imposed on itself.”

It is not long after that until the society either falls to invaders or gives itself to a strongman/tyrant to escape the chaos.

REVIEW OF “THE ECONOMICS OF HAPPINESS”

“The Economics of Happiness” explains how 8 ways globalism is causing harm to people’s lives all over the planet including:
1) Globalizations makes us unhappy
2) Globalizations breeds insecurity
3) Globalization wastes natural resources.
4)  Globalization accelerates climate change
5)  Globalization destroys livelihoods
6)  Globalization causes conflict
7)  Globalization is built on handouts to big business
8)  Globalization is based on false accounting

The “Economics of Happiness” documentary also shows that there are many effective  solutions to these problems. Some are very simple but profound, others take a little more work. Some are:
1) Strongly emphasize spirituality above materialism, especially the principle that all are equal and that spirituality, morals, people, community and family are far more important than GDP or being rich with paper money.

2) Teach people the incredible value of owning your own land and home. It can save people rent (~40-70% of salary) and food (~10-50% of salary).

3) Emphasize the value of gardening and exchanging food locally whenever possible. God’s way of gardening is far better than any way many has devised, producing 10-20 times more food that is more nutritious and also tastier, reduces environmental destruction and pollution, avoids being involved in exploitation and more***.

4) Encourage everyone to buy locally as much as possible.  Buy from local farmers and local businesses first. This might be a little more costly sometimes, sometimes less. But it puts at least 3 times the money into the local economy, avoids a lot of pollution and plastic used in transportation and also avoids exploitation that is very common with big corporations.

5) Try to avoid using the modern economic system and paper money when possible. Volunteer to help each other in your community as much as possible. These kinds of transactions aren’t taxed and don’t use the modern economy.

6)  Consider developing your own local money.

7) Share the film with others as widely as possible (there are subtitles in several languages below).

There are many other ideas at “The Economics of Happiness” facebook page and website.  Make sure to also check out the discussion guide for the film.

Some of these solutions above are identical to solutions that God gave through the Bible and Ellen White a long time ago. But God has a lot more profound but simple solutions that people can follow and beat poverty at the local level just like the early Christians beat poverty even though they were living under the opppression of a villainous beast power called Rome.

KEY POINT:  Whenever you hear the news blaming war and terrorism on extremism, political ideologies, religion or whatever, blaming gun crimes/school shootings on mental problems, blaming racism on various races, blaming one party or another for the ills of society, blaming bad habits for obesity or anything else, we need to remember that God said that all evil is rooted in greed and economic injustice (1 Timothy 6:10). Research repeatedly confirms this.

The profound documentary, “The Economics of Happiness” shows decisively that globalism and depriving local people and families of their land rights and pressuring them to urbanize and move into large population centers is causing a series of at least 8 major problems for the world. It also points out that terrorism is not caused by religion, but by the unjust economic systems that are dominating the world now (as many experts have found and confirmed such as Dr. Robert Pape who interviewed hundreds of terrorists and found that ~95% are angry at economic exploitation and being unable to get married or provide for their families as a result).

“In Ladakh, Buddhists and Muslims had lived side by side for 500 years without any conflict. But with the advent of the new economy, unemployment increased exponentially and so did competition for the narrow range of new commodities like kerosene and coal, cement and plastic. The end result was friction, conflict and ultimately violence. After only about a decade, Buddhists and Muslims were literally killing each other.” Helena Norberg-Hodge

The film also shows some simple solutions to this injustice that can be followed by individuals and local communities including golden rule spirituality that treats all as equals, local gardening, local farmers markets, local currencies/money, local community volunteer organizations and more.

God created people before sin to live in independent/self-supporting ways in a garden surrounded by and in harmony with nature. That was the ideal situation for humans to live in according to the God who created the universe (but He later also gave the option to live in cities for those who wished to do that). The Bible says that each family owning their own land is a key factor in the long term stability of nations and the Sabbath is also intimately connected with land rights for families as well as justice of many kinds (See Lev. 25:1-19, Isaiah 58, Deut. 5:15).

In 1 Kings 4:25 we can read that Israel had peace and safety throughout the land when every family had its own home and garden.

Ellen White states,
“If men would give more heed to the teaching of God’s Word, they would find a solution of these problems that perplex them. Much might be learned from the Old Testament in regard to the labor question and the relief of the poor. In God’s plan for Israel every family had a home on the land, with sufficient ground for tilling. Thus were provided both the means and the incentive for a useful, industrious, and self-supporting life. And no devising of men has ever improved upon that plan. To the world’s departure from it is owing, to a large degree, the poverty and wretchedness that exist today.” Ellen White, Welfare Ministry, p. 195

“There are multitudes of poor families for whom no better missionary work could be done than to assist them in settling on the land and in learning how to make it yield them a livelihood.” {MH 192.2}

If this is the main cause of most wretchedness and believers in God are supposed to do good for each person and all people (1 Thess. 5:15), shouldn’t we put a major focus on helping people have their own land/homes and learn to grow their own gardens in our churches?

In stark contrast, those who wanted to control and manipulate people from ancient times have tried to deprive them of land rights and force/influence them to live in cities such as Babel.

Numerous experts in science, economics, the environment and other fields are confirming the principles that God gave in economics for stable societies (and other areas) showing that land rights for each family and people focusing on local communities and living off the land instead of depending on corporations is by far the most efficient and sustainable way to live in all sorts of ways (see references to extensive Bible and science concepts here). Some of the reasons for this are because:

1) without rights to land, people spend ~40-70% of their income on rent, 10-50% on food and soon go into debt.

2) They are often forced into cities to work for corporations in order to meet basic expenses, which is wage slavery.

3) City life requires that all the necessities of life be transported from the environment into the city. This consumes far more energy as well as often being highly polluting and leading to exploitation and injustice of various types.

Vast numbers of scientific studies show that greed/high levels of inequality are the main cause of all major evils in our world today.
http://blog.truth-is-life.org/rights/equality/

“THE ECONOMICS OF HAPPINESS” (with subtitles in severa languages)

The film, “The Economics of Happiness” is #1 on the list of top rated film at Films for Action’s list of films that can change the world and is a brilliant one on the dangers of globalization and some simple local solutions that are effective.

Here are some very short intros to the film in different languages that you can share (and more versions as well as other seminars are here: https://vimeo.com/theeconomicsofhappiness and here:
https://www.localfutures.org/programs/global-to-local/webinars/recordings-of-past-global-to-local-webinars/).

Going Local: the solution-multiplier

https://vimeo.com/200477467

本土化:有乘数效应的解决方案

https://vimeo.com/214023794

해답 제조기 – 지역중심으로

https://vimeo.com/225675265
The Economics of Happiness
http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/the_economics_of_happiness/

You can watch it online here

And share it with those who understand other languages:

Chinese: 幸福经济学

https://vimeo.com/162302072

Korean: 행복의 경제학 (2011) – 헬레나 노르베리 호지
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bz8il6k2mk0

Russian (trailer): ЭКОНОМИКА СЧАСТЬЯ  https://vimeo.com/ondemand/eohrussiansubtitles/125483665

ЭКОНОМИКА СЧАСТЬЯ (The Economics of Happiness, with Russian Subtitles)
https://vimeo.com/81859631

Turkish: Mutluluğun Ekonomisi  https://vimeo.com/163011560https://vimeo.com/ondemand/mutlulugunekonomisi/81840267

French: L’Économie du Bonheur
https://vimeo.com/ondemand/72388/163554078

Persian:اقتصاد شادی
https://vimeo.com/163011560

ABRIDGED VERSION

Watching the whole thing is highly recommended, but for those who are insanely busy there is a short version here and written highlights below.:

https://vimeo.com/162418809

If you need other languages, check this site:
https://vimeo.com/theeconomicsofhappiness

MORE LINKS
They have other websites, a guidebook, facebook page that are very helpful to learning about solutions:
www.theeconomicsofhappiness.org

https://www.localfutures.org

https://www.localfutures.org/programs/the-economics-of-happiness/the-film/discussion-guide-companion-film/

https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomicsofhappiness/

In the 1st Global to Local Webinar, “Going Local,” community-economist and author, Michael Shuman, and Local Futures Director, Helena Norberg-Hodge, explored localization as a systemic solution-multiplier that simultaneously lowers CO2 emissions, restores democracy, provides secure livelihoods and more.
https://www.localfutures.org/programs/global-to-local/webinars/going-local/

HIGHLIGHTS
This is probably the best documentary I have ever seen in terms of describing how serious the problems we are facing are, how they are almost all rooted in forcing people off their lands and putting profit over people directly or indirectly, and also some simple solutions that focus on trying to get people back on land and localizing their daily choices (many of these solutions are exactly what God gave in the Bible and Ellen White), but not going to the extreme and saying that corporations are always harmful. Although it isn’t Christian as far as I know, a lot of what the experts are saying in it parallels what God has told Christians and esp. SDAs about the deceptions that will be common as we get closer to Jesus’ coming, the consequences and the action steps we should take.

It makes a key point at minute ~23-30, that when people are forced off their land, then they are forced into competition for jobs. As economic pressure is intensified (this and nearly all economic crashes that strip millions of their homes and assets are done on purpose as Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman has documented) the increased materialism made a lot more people jobless which increases family breakdown and conflict between different groups of people struggling to survive. One Indian expert points out that 100,000 Indian farmers have been driven to suicide because of being deprived of their land rights. I’ve listed at least 12 other extremely harmful consequences of the deprivation of land rights here:

http://blog.truth-is-life.org/human-rights/gods-principles-for-thriving-civilizations/land-rights-most-crucial-for-freedom/
It also shows that terrorism is not caused by religion. It is caused by economic injustice (as many experts have found).
“In Ladakh, Buddhists and Muslims had lived side by side for 500 years without any conflict. But with the advent of the new economy, unemployment increased exponentially and so did competition for the narrow range of new commodities like kerosene and coal, cement and plastic. The end result was friction, conflict and ultimately violence. After only about a decade, Buddhists and Muslims were literally killing each other.” Helena Norberg-Hodge

And research shows that following biblical land rights at the govt. level was the key factor in how Korea developed from the poorest to one of the richest nations in the world.

http://blog.truth-is-life.org/human-rights/gods-principles-for-thriving-civilizations/land-rights-most-crucial-for-freedom/how-biblical-principles-economics-helped-korea-rise-from-the-ashes-of-war-to-top-rankings-in-the-world/

 

But, if nations won’t do that, then churches can. Ellen White points out in Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing (p. 137-40) that it is only when the church follows what the church in Acts did, such as sharing based on the golden rule and eliminating poverty, in Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-35, that we will experience the power that they did.

 

If we realize that money itself is created out of thin air (as the Bank of England, Federal reserve  and others have stated), is based on no real assets, and its use is charged at 6% interest per year (which can be repaid only by borrowing more money which also has interest charged), and that inevitably results in more and more debt over time, the reasons to follow God’s economic principles become a LOT clearer.  This documentary explains how money is created and how it steals time and freedom

 

Money steals time and freedom 신세계질서를 불러오는 세계 경제 붕괴와 돈의 비밀

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_0li7LByTM

This is esp. true when we understand that debt slavery is one of the biggest causes of the destruction of civilizations in history as Dr. Michael Hudson, who is probably the most insightful economist on the planet (and a Christian economist who showed how the charging of interest is rooted in pagan and Baal temples in Mesopotamia…which helps explain more why the OT prophets were so angry at idolatry).

Debt Slavery–Why it Destroyed Rome and Why It Will Destroy Us Unless It’s Stopped.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2011/12/02/debt-slavery-why-it-destroyed-rome-why-it-will-destroy-us-unless-its-stopped/

Here are a few highlights of the “Economics of Happiness” film.

~10:00

8 inconvenient truths about globalization:

1) GLOBALIZATION MAKES US UNHAPPY
Globalization has a profound effect on almost every aspect of life. Various studies show rises of depression from 2-10 times in the west after globalization. Stresses on average families has radically increased. More demanding jobs, more travel, more work at home, more commutes, (and more debt), etc. There are huge pressures to have bigger, better, more, to buy more material things and maintain a certain appearance. But this never brings happiness.  Americans are 3 times richer than they were in the 1950s, but happiness has leveled off and slowly gone down. Affluence tends to undermine community…which is what brings happiness. Dr. Vandana Shiva says
“I think the only people who are really happy, deeply happy and deeply secure are people who know they can rely on someone else in life…lonely people have never been happy people. Globalization is creating a very lonely planet.”

 

2) GLOBALIZATION BREEDS INSECURITY

Corporations are raising kids, driving their choices (and adults) in food, clothing, entertainment and most areas through media.
“Human greed is very easy to exploit.  The method of exploiting greed is also very cruel—comparison and competition. People lose their own identity right from childhood.” Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister, Tibetan government-in-exile

Young people are told that to be accepted, they need to buy latest clothes/gadgets. But as young people go down the consumer path, it leads to separation, not the love and sense of connection that they are really looking for. Marketers are telling young people…don’t worry if you don’t know who you are. We will provide you with an identity…if you buy our products. Teachers aid this materialist process by warning students that if they don’t learn their subjects, they will be relegated to being farmers. But what’s so bad about farming? Why demonize it and make it sound almost like a crime or almost equivalent to begging?

Marketing is creating an image that blue eyes and light skin are the ideal, since this drives profits up for many cosmetics companies. A lot of what is driving profits up in Asian countries is emulating the American way of life, which means people have to buy from American corporations.

 

3) (~17:30) GLOBALIZATION WASTES NATURAL RESOURCES
Many natural resources are already stretched to breaking points by population pressures and others. Encouraging consumerism threatens the ecological fabric of the entire planet. And yet marketers are pushing us to buy, buy, buy even more.

Balaji Shanker of the Kumarappa Foundation states the problem of consumerism starkly.
“It’s a terrific onslaught of marketing, merchandising, advertising, brainwashing. So we are on a big consumptive splurge. But we have four times the population of the US and if we start consuming, and all the consumption levels reach like America, then we’ll be consuming all the resources of the planet right in India.”

The consumer culture, urbanization and city living are all extremely wasteful. Dr. Vandana Shiva summarizes reality:
“The moment a person moves into the city, the energy use shoots up, the water use shoots up.  The infrastructure to run a city, per capita, is much bigger than the infrastructure to produce a high quality of life in the village.”

When hundreds of millions of rural people are pulled into cities, the food they once grew themselves, must now be grown for them on giant chemical intensive farms. All this food must then be brought into the cities on roads (requiring road construction, asphalt, disruption of environment, working crews to maintain it). Providing water requires enormous dams and man made reservoirs. Energy production means huge power plants, coal mines, uranium mines, 1000s of miles of electric wires, etc.  Waste of cities must be trucked out, buried, incinerated, dumped at sea. City dwellers produce far more waste than rural dwellers.

19 “We have gotten to the end of the supply chain. And there is no more….If we decide to industrialize the world, the result will be universal starvation. Eco systems will collapse and we will see the end of our species.”*** bald guy

 

4) (20:00) GLOBALIZATION ACCELERATES CLIMATE CHANGE
Globalization of economy is causing every worse stresses on the environment such as that that results from urbanization.
“Because of hidden subsidies and skewed regulations, food from the other side of the world tends to cost less than food from a mile away. In the UK, butter from New Zealand costs significantly less than butter from the farm down the road. In Ladakh, butter trucked in over the Himalayas for several days costs half as much as local butter.” Helena Norberg-Hodge

21 “We often hear about efficiencies of scale… But what we have developed is a system that could not be more wasteful…We have English apples flown to South Africa to be waxed, flown back again to be sold to consumers. The whole process involves incredible quantities of waste ”

Countries routinely import and export nearly identical quantities of identical products. This is not just insanely wasteful, but very damaging to the environment. Sometimes products which could be made locally are imported from across the world and are even cheaper than locally produced material. This is due to nations getting rid of tariffs (free trade), massive subsidies to wealthy corporations (which also violates Bible economics), wars for greed that keep millions in chaos and willing to work for dirt cheap and more (including gutting the middle class in more developed nations since they are the ones that pay most for wars in taxes for example). This results in millions losing jobs as well as wasting fuel, energy and damages the environment. And then the loss of jobs damages many families as well and that is a major cause of all sorts of addictions and harm in society.

http://www.vox.com/2016/4/25/11503152/shipping-routes-map

http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/what-is-addiction-gabor-mate/

 

5) (22:00) GLOBALIZATION DESTROYS LIVELIHOODS
At ~23:00-30:00, it has a very insightful section that points out that before people were divorced from land rights, almost everyone had a sustainable and independent job where they were not ordered around by bosses. They also were part of close knit communities that were in harmony with nature. When people were robbed of their land rights, that was when we start to see large levels of unemployment. Unemployment creates anger and as is human nature, people look to blame others who are different. This creates crime and racial conflicts. After just a decade of capitalism and consumerism in the Ladakh area, Buddhists and Muslims were literally killing each other, something that had not happened in that area before.

The global economy has become a casino and we are all potential losers. The first victims are often small farmers.
“The present development model encourages urbanization, and intentionally works to reduce the number of farmers. All those displaced farmers have nowhere to go but the city where they become cheap labor for industry, for investment from abroad.” Pracha Hutanuwatr of Right Livelihood Foundation

“All we want is our land. Give us some land and we’ll work hard to make something, to make a life.” Indian farmers

“Removing our people from land is the root of all unemployment. It is at the root of the creation of slums and the rural urban migration…Making people disposable, in terms of working with the land, is creating probably the biggest human crisis. No human rights community is noticing it. No amnesty has noticed it. But 100,000 Indian farmers have been driven to suicide [because of being deprived of land].” Dr. Vandana Shiva
Another Indian beggar said.

“I don’t want to be a beggar. If I could have my land back, I’d go back to my main business, farming.”

 

6) (24:00) GLOBALIZATION CAUSES CONFLICT

“When people are pushed off the land into crowded cities, members of diverse ethnic and religious groups are forced into intense competition for the few available jobs. Differences that were once accepted become a source of fear, fundamentalism and conflict.”narrator, John Pilger

Globalization, which is creating the gap between the rich and poor, is directly affecting the survival of certain people, a lot of people. And this gives them only a few options. People have to take options when it is a life and death situation. It will create terrorism. It will create a lot of disharmony.”

25 “You destroy language. You destroy the roots of who you are. You destroy the history and you become nobody. Globalization with its homogenous way of looking at the world and that we must have one world view, is extremely dangerous…This is not healthy for harmonizing our societies.”

Dr. Vandana Shiva summarizes reality:
“The moment a person moves into the city, the energy use shoots up, the water use shoots up.  The infrastructure to run a city, per capita, is much bigger than the infrastructure to produce a high quality of life in the village.”
26 “In Ladakh, Buddhists and Muslims had lived side by side for 500 years without any conflict. But with the advent of the new economy, unemployment increased exponentially and so did competition for the narrow range of new commodities like kerosene and coal, cement and plastic. The end result was friction, conflict and ultimately violence. After only about a decade, Buddhists and Muslims were literally killing each other.” Helena Norberg-Hodge

 

7) (~27:00) GLOBALIZATION IS BUILT ON HAND-OUTS TO BIG BUSINESS

It is believed that globalization is unstoppable, driven by free markets and efficiencies of scale.

“If there’s one thing that political parties from the left to the right seem to agree on it is the power and value of the free market. But the irony is that the majority of the really polluting things that are happening today would not exist within a genuine free market. Nuclear power could not exist for example without massive state support….it would be impossible to maintain the current global economy as it is today without enormous support from governments. We are about as far from a free market as it is possible to be ”** Norwegian looking guy

“There are billions and billions of dollars being poured into continuing business as usual, whether that’s subsidizing fossil fuels, whether that’s subsidizing huge monocultures, whether it’s giving corporate welfare to some of the already largest and most powerful corporations around.“Andrews Simms, New Economics Foundation (UK)

Advantages for big business is not only in the form of subsidies, but also increasing deregulation for multi national corporations.

“At the global level, regulations are being increasingly stripped away, with the effect that transnational corporations and banks are free to operate across the entire planet[and they can use lawyers easily to find loopholes]. Meanwhile at the national level, there’s ever more red tape and bureaucracy. This places an unfair, disproportionate burden on small and medium sized businesses and every year hundreds of thousands of them are going out of business.” Helena Norberg-Hodge

“It’s basically a system which criminalizes the small producer and processor and deregulates the giant businesses” Dr. Vandana Shiva

“The leverage of international financial agreements and world trade agreements levers people, often against their will, into a beggar thy neighbor, dog eat dog, global commodity market in which speculation is king and real people in real communities are an afterthought. “Andrews Simms, New Economics Foundation (UK)

 

8) (~29:30) GLOBALIZATION IS BASED ON FALSE ACCOUNTING

Almost everything now is focused on measuring things in GDP.  As capitalism and corporations gained more power, success became measured in terms of GDP instead of things like happiness, family continuity, strong relationships global peace and things like this (global peace index is here: http://economicsandpeace.org/).

30“Using GDP as a measure of societal progress is little short of madness.If there’s an oil spill GDP goes up. If the water is so polluted that we have to buy it in bottles, GDP goes up. War, cancer, epidemic illnesses, all of these things involve an exchange of money and that means they end up on the positive side of the balance sheet.” Helena Norberg-Hodge

You can not have infinite growth on a finite planet. No matter how you dress it up, the whole thing stares you in the face. There isn’t enough resources for growth.” *** Indian guy

“The evidence is clear that we as a species are now beyond the carrying capacity of this earth. And this shift has happened in the last 20 years. This hasn’t happened in the [entire history] of the planet earth].”Daniel Greenberg, Global Ecovillage Network — USA

“Whether its bailouts to big banks, stimulus packages to encourage consumer spending, or carbon trading schemes, all of these supposed solutions actually reinforce the system that created the system in the first place. In the meanwhile, big business is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to convince us that they are leading the way to a green economy.” Helena Norberg-Hodge

32 Superficial solutions are being pushed on consumers. Drive less. Screw in more efficient light bulbs, use more environmentally friendly products. These can help a little. But it is the corporate institutions that cause most of the problems and their abuses must be opposed. Media doesn’t usually talk about how corporations are the biggest cause of pollution by far. They don’t talk about how living outside cities naturally or being vegetarian are some of the biggest solutions. They don’t talk about gardening, etc.

33 “You can turn off the TV in your house, you can say no to McDonalds and Nike, you can choose not to work in a job that does not have meaning for you or isn’t making the world a better place and you can live on less. But there’s a limit about how far we can go with those solutions as a society. We have to do something about the institutions that are at the root of the problem. And those are primarily the large corporations which drive our system. They have enormous political power. It’s a system run amuck.” **woman with green sweater

“In the end, the only power that any of these institutions of empire or plutocracy or whatever have, are  the power that we as citizens yield to them. They remain in power because we accept their legitimacy. If we withdraw that legitimacy, they lose their power over us.”**

Abraham Lincoln, debating slavery, said in 1858, “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed. Consequently he who molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed.”

34 ***

People need meaningful work and input. And that comes mostly from self direction, not being a cog in a corporate machine.

Governments began to push “free trade” and deregulation and corporations with heavy subsidization (AKA corporate welfare) began to advertise heavily and bring great changes to local cultures. The increased materialism makes a lot more people jobless which increases family breakdown and conflict between different groups of people struggling to survive.

35 Shipping goods from far away that we can produce is far more expensive if you consider GPI.

37 No need to end international trade. But governments need to fund mostly locally and small communities, not corporations. Focus on what governments regulate, tax and subsidize.

40 If you buy from local businesses, 3 times the money stays in the local economy, because they have local management, they advertise locally and they spend far more locally, such as on accountants/lawyers.

42 Global cooperation and cultural interaction can be very positive things, but global domination by corporations is not positive.

44 10 times more conversations happen at farmers markets

48 Things produced in southern countries that are exported to northern countries, is robbing them of being self-reliant.

50 Natural farms produce 3-5 times more than farms run with pesticides, etc

52 Renewable energies provide 2-4 times more jobs than centralized fossil fuel technologies do.

At a couple points the film also explains how money always comes into existence as debt, how banks endanger whole economics by using fractional reserve which is akin to Las Vegas betting and how “trickle down” economics actually results in trillions of dollars of welfare for the rich.

At the end it concludes by talking about several kinds of growth beyond just money, growth in relationships, being environmentally friendly and others.

Experiencing how God’s truth energizes life!