By Published On: 28 March 2011828 words4.1 min read

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Balancing the Budget

By Rob Branch-Dasch, Guest Contributor

Money doesn’t really make the world go ’round, but virtually every modern society is obsessed with it. Many people say their life’s work is meaningless, little more than a means by which they bring money into their home. Success is often gauged in terms of how much money one has accumulated, or in terms of particular purchases that the accumulated money has enabled. Success then isn’t a measure of how happy or healthy a person or business may be, it’s simply a measure of financial status. It’s not possible to measure the success of our planet in these terms; Earth has no use for money. What the Earth does show us clearly though is that man’s insatiable quest for wealth is damaging the planet’s continued ability to sustain this species.

Every April businesses and citizens across the United States file their tax returns. Nearly every single business and citizen will have claimed deductions, i.e. amounts of taxes they feel they should be exempted from paying. Savvy companies and individuals will have planned for this throughout the year and may have amassed so many deductions that they end up paying little or no taxes at all. They probably believe this has worked out well and may even congratulate themselves, until it turns out that the government doesn’t have enough funds to function properly. Services get cut, government employees get laid off, benefit programs are suspended or stopped, parks are closed, funding programs get rolled back, and budgets are slashed. Government ceases to function as it intended, though through little fault of its own; its citizens and businesses didn’t fund it adequately. The once-savvy companies and individuals then get angry, start blaming everyone but themselves, and the arguments begin. At some point it should occur to them that they cannot keep taking without giving back, but that realization often comes too late; by the time the necessary funds are available again, those who relied on the cut programs may have given up or in certain cases even died.

Our planet operates in a similar way. It doesn’t need money, but it does need for every individual and every company to give back as much as we take. Without giving back to the Earth in equal terms we risk a budget deficit, and the planet may be forced to slash budgets and cut programs. Our weather is already no longer made in the USA; it has been outsourced to a handful of less expensive suppliers in China. Quality control is an issue so we may see the occasional drought, flood, heat wave, snowstorm, or other anomaly, but the savings are significant. Several years ago polar cooling was outsourced to some discounters in a free trade zone somewhere in South America. The Earth didn’t want to take this step, but it was entirely necessary given the budget that individuals and companies provided.

Biodiversity and habitat maintenance are being handled by a coalition of prisoner work programs, and they provide very inexpensive management of this critical area. Their work is especially commendable given their lack of scientific expertise and the other challenges they face. Some habitat is lost and some species go extinct, but given the funding that individuals and corporations have provided the Earth we are all getting exceptional value.

The mainstream media tends to repeat phrases like “tax breaks” and “industry self-policing” and “market driven policy.” Despite that, at some point in the future funding may be restored to these programs, and then Earth will no longer be forced to outsource. The good news is that we decide when funding is restored. It is up to us, as individuals, as families, as schools, as businesses, as governments, and as a species – to begin giving back more than we take from the Earth. It’s really quite easy, just something we’ve lost touch with since petrochemicals began defining our lifestyles. Our entire species lived sustainably and organically until the early 1900s. Billions of human beings still do so today. We have the capacity, the knowledge, and the reason; all we need now is the desire.

As individuals we need to decide that the continued existence of our species is worth more than the wasteful conveniences to which we have become accustomed. As companies we need to decide that the continued existence of life as we know it is worth more than the ceaseless pursuit of unending growth. As both individuals and companies we need to understand that happiness and health hold more value than money and possessions. We don’t need to return to the Stone Age or even to the 1900s to regain these values; we simply need to start living them.

By Published On: 28 March 2011828 words4.1 min read

Share This Story!

Balancing the Budget

By Rob Branch-Dasch, Guest Contributor

Money doesn’t really make the world go ’round, but virtually every modern society is obsessed with it. Many people say their life’s work is meaningless, little more than a means by which they bring money into their home. Success is often gauged in terms of how much money one has accumulated, or in terms of particular purchases that the accumulated money has enabled. Success then isn’t a measure of how happy or healthy a person or business may be, it’s simply a measure of financial status. It’s not possible to measure the success of our planet in these terms; Earth has no use for money. What the Earth does show us clearly though is that man’s insatiable quest for wealth is damaging the planet’s continued ability to sustain this species.

Every April businesses and citizens across the United States file their tax returns. Nearly every single business and citizen will have claimed deductions, i.e. amounts of taxes they feel they should be exempted from paying. Savvy companies and individuals will have planned for this throughout the year and may have amassed so many deductions that they end up paying little or no taxes at all. They probably believe this has worked out well and may even congratulate themselves, until it turns out that the government doesn’t have enough funds to function properly. Services get cut, government employees get laid off, benefit programs are suspended or stopped, parks are closed, funding programs get rolled back, and budgets are slashed. Government ceases to function as it intended, though through little fault of its own; its citizens and businesses didn’t fund it adequately. The once-savvy companies and individuals then get angry, start blaming everyone but themselves, and the arguments begin. At some point it should occur to them that they cannot keep taking without giving back, but that realization often comes too late; by the time the necessary funds are available again, those who relied on the cut programs may have given up or in certain cases even died.

Our planet operates in a similar way. It doesn’t need money, but it does need for every individual and every company to give back as much as we take. Without giving back to the Earth in equal terms we risk a budget deficit, and the planet may be forced to slash budgets and cut programs. Our weather is already no longer made in the USA; it has been outsourced to a handful of less expensive suppliers in China. Quality control is an issue so we may see the occasional drought, flood, heat wave, snowstorm, or other anomaly, but the savings are significant. Several years ago polar cooling was outsourced to some discounters in a free trade zone somewhere in South America. The Earth didn’t want to take this step, but it was entirely necessary given the budget that individuals and companies provided.

Biodiversity and habitat maintenance are being handled by a coalition of prisoner work programs, and they provide very inexpensive management of this critical area. Their work is especially commendable given their lack of scientific expertise and the other challenges they face. Some habitat is lost and some species go extinct, but given the funding that individuals and corporations have provided the Earth we are all getting exceptional value.

The mainstream media tends to repeat phrases like “tax breaks” and “industry self-policing” and “market driven policy.” Despite that, at some point in the future funding may be restored to these programs, and then Earth will no longer be forced to outsource. The good news is that we decide when funding is restored. It is up to us, as individuals, as families, as schools, as businesses, as governments, and as a species – to begin giving back more than we take from the Earth. It’s really quite easy, just something we’ve lost touch with since petrochemicals began defining our lifestyles. Our entire species lived sustainably and organically until the early 1900s. Billions of human beings still do so today. We have the capacity, the knowledge, and the reason; all we need now is the desire.

As individuals we need to decide that the continued existence of our species is worth more than the wasteful conveniences to which we have become accustomed. As companies we need to decide that the continued existence of life as we know it is worth more than the ceaseless pursuit of unending growth. As both individuals and companies we need to understand that happiness and health hold more value than money and possessions. We don’t need to return to the Stone Age or even to the 1900s to regain these values; we simply need to start living them.

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  1. StaceyG March 29, 2011 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Amen.