“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them,” claims Einstein. Yet when President Obama proposed a $500,000 cap on executive pay at banks receiving TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) money, the Congressional Oversight Panel noted in its latest report that the US Treasury receives 66 cents worth of toxic assets for every taxpayer dollar spent on bailing out failing banks.
Back to Einstein: can we solve our current economic woes by patching holes in the bucket? No, according to David Korten, author of The Great Turning, who likens our current economic strategies to “treating cancer with Band Aids.” In his new book, Agenda for a New Economy, Koten describes the “phantom wealth” created by the Wall Street economy through economic bubbles, debt pyramids, and predatory lending.
The solution? Shift from a Wall Street economy that creates illusory wealth to a Main Street economy that creates real value, says Korten. He proposes “an economic blueprint for the 21st Century”, based on the business model of BALLE, prioritizing people and planet over profits while still tapping the entrepreneurial energy of Wall Street.