I keep hens.
These hens feed into my local economy in small, positive ways.
However, these beautiful creatures are not part of Ireland’s economy, despite their consistent hard work!
Economic growth is all about measuring the flow of money.
Surplus eggs at Bealtaine Cottage are bartered for other goods.
The details of that growth are almost irrelevant.
Yet, every day, the news is filled with details about the economy, difficult to relate to any aspect of our daily lives.
There is not one aspect of what I do here at Bealtaine Cottage which would be deemed to contribute to economic growth. Sewing, spinning, planting trees, growing food, supporting wildlife, caring…
Only measured on the day of cutting and selling!
Ensuring the land is brought back to fertility…not measured.
If it cannot be measured in the transfer of money, then it is not counted.
If you produce what you consume, then, apparently, you do not produce…the real economy of people like me is zero.
However, the future is local in terms of the real economy, because the real economy is about real people and the real lives they lead!
I believe that in order to stabilize the world, we must first stabilize our country and in order to do that, we must ensure our homes and communities are efficient and resilient.
The future can only be welcomed if our present is secure.
We are of real flesh and blood; real feelings: compassion and hope; real lives, not economic statistics on the six o’clock news.
The future is local, resources are plentiful; the future is us…just us and justice!