On October 12 2013 at the Pawtucket Armory beginning at 10 AM, there shall be a conference ”Ecological Healing, Ecological Economics, Economic Justice, Creating Prosperity for the 99% in Rhode Island.”
Organized by Greg Gerritt for his 60th birthday, the conference is part of an effort to open up the discussion as to the appropriate economic development strategy for Rhode Island and places like Rhode Island. It is clear that an economy run for the benefit of the 1% does not work very well for anyone other than the 1%, but that other models of development appear ot be off the table. As the economy grinds to a halt due to inequality, we also see ever more ecological destruction, further damaging the economy. It is my contention that an economy that focuses on ecological healing, economic justice, and local based food security will be much more capable of riding out the turmoil of the 21st century and climate change than economies focused of the greed of the 1%. Yet the people who direct economic policy in Rhode Island continue on the 1% path despite the traumas it brings and the general failure of development efforts over the last 40 years.
It is unlikely that we can turn the ship of state away from thrashing around for growth in one fell swoop, but it is still critical to begin a new discussion, one that lays out the true parameters of the ecological and unequal box we have been pushed into. Hence a conference as a way to restart the discussion. This time encompassing the full range of possibilities, not just the business climate model trumpeted by the Koch brothers and their wealthy allies that we have been offered.