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Sacred Money and Markets Narrative

The early 2018 surge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average to new records over 25,000 has caused many to genuflect and kneel at the alter in the temple of “Sacred Money and Sacred Markets.” Investors appear jubilant that the GOP tax cut legislation, passed in December 2017, is good for corporations and their valuation. Of course the President takes the credit, even in the midst of Fire and Fury.

The corporate tax cut from 35 to 21 percent will certainly cost the U.S. Treasury tens of billions a year, shifting wealth from most individuals to corporations and few already wealthy individuals. Where were the GOP deficit hawks? The U.S. will have to borrow tens of billions annually adding to the budget deficit and mounting interest we and our children will have to pay back. Will companies use the billions and billions in tax incentives to invest in America and create jobs? Paul Solomon of PBS notes “published estimates that workers would receive, at most, something like 20 percent of the cost of the corporate cut.”hv7y

My reference to “Sacred Money and Sacred Markets” is from David C. Korten’s Fall 2017 Tikkun article Ecological Civilization and the New Enlightenment:

“The Sacred Money and Markets narrative frames the moral and intellectual foundation of the Sacred Money and Markets economics
taught as an objective values-free, science to business and economics students in the world’s leading colleges and universities.

False on every point, the narrative perverts our sense of values and legitimates the concentration of decision-making power in the hands of a financial oligarchy. It is neither a true science nor a true religion. It is an immoral, anti-democratic, political ideology, at odds both with the moral teachings of the world’s great religions and the findings of contemporary science. Its immoral and intellectually false premises set us up to measure economic performance by financial metrics like GDP and stock price indices like the Dow Jones Average.

GDP is in substantial measure an indicator of the rate at which we are monetizing relationships previously based on mutual caring. This process destroys the natural bonds of family and community, while increasing our dependence for our essential means of living on money created and allocated by global financial institutions lacking concern or accountability for our well-being.

With a similar bias favoring financial interests over life interest, stock price indices are primarily an indicator of the rate at which the inflation of financial assets is increasing the financial power of those who own them relative to the power of those who do not.”

Korten makes a powerful case for the need to replace the Sacred Money and Markets narrative with a new Sacred Life and Living Earth narrative. Stay tuned for more on this.

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