Political leaders lacking vision with traditional "shovel ready" spending
Purchase of local, sustainable and nutritious groceries could create "virtuous-circle" economics to finance stimulus.
by Wayne Roberts
Instead of accepting today's economic downturn as a pink slip that can't be refused, what if our governments reacted as if they had received a Facebook invitation: by selecting "join cause", "learn more" or "ignore"?
When faced with the possibility of a recession, panicked politicians from around the world didn't consider a range of options; they didn't click on "learn more". Instead, they hit "join cause". With a similar lack of vision, governments the world over are trying to spend their way out of the crisis by dumping loads of money into infrastructure projects, claiming a need for "shovel-ready" projects to "kick start" the recovery.
The terms "shovel-ready" and "kick start" tell us that politicians turned to pre-ecological and pre-knowledge-based-economy styles of thinking. The possibility of a citizen-led economic recovery that featured agriculture, food and their allied sectors received no serious attention. But it should have, since such an approach could go a long way toward alleviating the ill effects of a downturn today while nurturing more sustainable economic foundations for tomorrow.
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Wayne Roberts manages the Toronto Food Policy Council and brings his creative approach to board meetings of Alternatives.
Posted: October 23, 2009
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