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❚ stories

sacred money and markets story

Every day on every consequential news outlet, similar programs focus our attention on how the financial economy is doing. Any mention of how people and nature are doing is usually in the context of assessing the implications for the GDP and stock prices—financial indicators that speak to how money and the moneyed are doing. To listen to the discussion, you would infer that the purpose of people and nature is to serve money.

Time is money. Money is wealth. Material consumption is the path to happiness. Making money creates wealth, drives consumption to increase happiness, and is the defining purpose of individuals, business, and the economy.

Economics courses in our most prestigious institutions teach this story as settled science. The corporate media constantly repeat it. Over time, money has become contemporary society’s object of worship. Making money has become life’s purpose, shopping a civic duty, markets our moral compass, institutions of finance our temples, and economists the priests who provide absolution for our personal and collective sins against life.

The story is based on bad ethics, bad science, and bad economics. We now see the environmental devastation, economic desperation, social alienation, and moral and political corruption

A modest profit is essential to the health and survival of any private enterprise. Managing the economy to maximize profit for the benefit of a financial oligarchy is, however, a recipe for economic, social, and environmental disaster—as America’s experiment with unrestrained greed