Occupy Main Street! Part I

Thursday, 03 November 2011 02:41

 

By Joe Romano, 

Marketing Manager

occupyThere is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.

— Sam Walton, founder of WalMart

GreenStar is an example of a local economy at work. When members of our community had a need for natural food that was not being supplied by supermarkets and national chains, we took it into our own hands to pool our resources, buy what we wanted and get it to the people who wanted it. We formed a cooperative that is owned by our community, that has grown to serve an ever-larger segment of that community and that serves as a focus and resource for more of our local needs every day. We serve a social function, but we operate primarily as an economic entity.

When economics started in human civilizations, there were no credit cards, coins or bills or even means of barter. The earliest economies were gift economies in which people did not expect any immediate or even future recompense for items given to others. People simply gave food and things to one other, and thus everybody always had what they needed. If there was any form of status in these societies, it could only be garnered by giving away the most stuff. Moving forward in history, we have traded commodities like grain or cattle, metals and coins until, seeking increasingly convenient currency, we developed paper money that represented a certain amount of gold or silver for which it could be redeemed at any time.

Read more: Occupy Main Street! Part I

What Would Wangari Maathai Do?

Saturday, 01 October 2011 22:46

Joe Romano, 

Marketing Manager

 

wangari maathai1If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.

— Confucius

Wangari Muta Maathai was born on April 1, 1940, in the central highlands of Kenya, and this September, at the age of 71, she died. By all measure, hers should have been a quiet, local life. Her parents were sustenance farmers who grew barely enough food to feed themselves and their six children. Normally, a girl of her class would not have gone to school, but, oddly, her parents chose to send her. Once there, she was seen to have abilities that led her teachers to encourage her to further her education. She went to college in America and returned to Kenya where she finished her Ph.D. and became research assistant to the Head of Veterinary Medicine at Nairobi University.

This was much more than anyone could have expected her to achieve, but it was not enough for Wangari Maathai. After marrying a politician, she was exposed to the poorest slums in Kenya, and her conscience forced her to act. She saw a vicious cycle — hungry women scavenging for firewood to prepare meals, felling more and more trees, which led to local deforestation, erosion, and the eventual desertification of land, which, in turn, led to more hunger.

Read more: What Would Wangari Maathai Do?

 

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  • By Joe Romano, 
Marketing Manager

    oasis-store-frontWhat's in a name? 
That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet.

    — William Shakespeare

    A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.

    — Gertrude Stein

    A kilogram by any other name would weigh as much.

    — Bill Nye

    In the...

    Read more...
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