Tabacco: Do you truly believe the GDP (GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT) has uniformly increased as this Graph depicts with an increasingly steep curve and barely a blemish except for that precipitous drop from 2006-2008 during the George W. Bush Regime?
Well, how about the GNP?
TABACCO: GNP Graph tells same identical story to GDP Graph, and they are both LIES!
But why? We continue to use GDP and GNP because they tell a perpetually positive story (except for the Bush Years, that is). Even GDP and GNP couldn’t hide that FIASCO!
This helps deceive the American Public into believing that basically our Politicians (Republicrats and Democans) and, more importantly, CAPITALISM are doing a great job in America. This Sophistry and Deception are beneficial to both Democans and Republicrats as well as for the CAPITALISM MYTH!
There is something called the “Standard of Living and GDP” – but how often have you heard anyone mention that, let alone show you a Graph!
Since you’ve never heard of it before, and will probably never hear of it again, far be it from me to supply you with this particular Graph!
So what about GPI? How does it compare to a GDP Graph?
Can you say, “Extremely politically damaging and about as likely to be publicized by Democans and Republicrats as the Fact that Adolph Hitler was Catholic will ever be publicized by the Vatican!”
Tabacco just loves Graphs! Even when they are based on LIES, those LIES are evident in those Graphs despite the best efforts to suppress those Truths – if you only use your noodle, that is! Just in case you don’t always look deeply into Graphic representations or political rhetoric, that’s why Tabacco is here!
FINALLY, a Graph that presents a story different from the only scenario you are likely to hear! Now you know why the Mainstream Media NEVER discusses GPI!
TABACCO: Please bear with the following transcript, which is necessary and not very sexy. When you reach the end of this Post, you will read my own transcription of the Video Documentary of the same name about Ladakh in the Western Himalayas, which American Globalization has turned from a simplistic Shangri-La into a Ghetto in Los Angeles. SHAME ON US!
Economics of Happiness
The full transcript of the Economics of Happiness Roundtable.
Goal: To determine if the concept of Genuine Wealth can be integrated into national accounts.
Time: 12 pm–2 pm, Jan. 10, 2008
Location: Centre for Social Innovation, Toronto
MA—Mark Anielski, Anielski Management Inc. and author of The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth;
TS—Toby Sanger, Chief Economist, Canadian Union of Public Employees;
DP—Doug Porter, Senior Economist, BMO Nesbitt Burns.
Moderator: TH—Toby Heaps, Editor, Corporate Knights
MA: What does happiness have to do with natural capital? I wanted to start with what I believe is the whole argument for economics of well-being and happiness and then segue into natural capital accounting, and why it is practical and why people should be doing it. Statistics Canada has been doing this quietly for several years. We need to think like a finance ministry with our biology hats on.
Robert Kennedy was the only politician to identify the shortcomings of national accounts and to realize that national accounts do not measure “what makes life worthwhile”. Could we develop new ways of accounting for well-being that measures the things that contribute to quality of life in addition to measuring consumption?
The ideal GDP hero is the guy who does regrettable things, and the villain is the guy who just walks to places. When Jefferson wrote the declaration of independence, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, if that was the goal, then we have not seen an increase in happy people in the US. In fact we’re seeing since Kennedy’s death a rising level of income inequality, which some people are saying is a key indicator of an unhappy nation.
In Alberta, I did the Genuine Progress Index which is a 51-indicator composite index going back to 1960 – it asks the question, are Albertans better off given the enormous GDP run we’ve had? It doesn’t appear so.
If happiness is being optimized along this curve, $15,000 GDP per capita, but other countries like Bhutan have lower GDPs per capita but higher levels of happiness compared to the US. The Danes and the Swiss seem to be pretty happy. So the question as an economist is if we were to design an economy of enduring happiness, where might we establish some type of policy that would say $20,000 GDP is probably sufficient for a lifestyle that would emphasize happiness and yet is one that is sustainable too. Because sustainability to me is living off the interest of your life capital!
TABACCO: Already it seems that not only GDP and GNP, but also Capitalism itself go counter to the “Pursuit of Happiness”. Neither High, Ever Increasing GDP nor too much Cash will make you happy in spite of the PROPAGANDA!
Now, how many marriages did Liz Taylor and Donald Trump each have? Oh, that’s right: Trump still has time to add to his number!
Simon Kuznets is the architect of the national accounts and the Kuznets curve. The question is what are we growing for? If many in society have achieved these levels of happiness and self-sufficiency, what are the values and goals that we base our society on? Oftentimes I don’t see those values, often I don’t see any underlying argument when I’m at the treasury table. These are the virtues of society; these are the values that society holds us to. Kuznets back in the 60s said ultimately he believed we would move to a place where we would be measuring the quality of life like the quality of a sandwich. Up until then it was a post-war economy and there was interest in measuring monetary production. So he left us long-lasting challenges.
How much time worked for money buys a life of enough? There’s not many Canadians in survival mode. Time is our most limited resource and how we invest time and how we trade time for money becomes a critical issue. Making an argument for frugality and moderation is really hard to stand up and say I think a life of simplicity, or slow is beautiful is a compelling argument. For most of us we’re so busy just making ends meet. Sometimes it’s hard to say – in my life I’ve changed my personal business model to have sufficiency of revenue to meet the household needs, and then think about the discretionary stuff that you do, do you need to make more money? Because if you have everything you need then your life becomes one of maintenance.
TABACCO: There is an adage, which goes,
“If some is good, then more is better, and too much is about right!” – America’s Capitalistic Mantra!
People with more relationships and more friends tend to live 7 years longer. It’s interesting when you look at time saved, how much time we have in our lives to build meaningful relationships.
We have more free time according to Statscan time-use surveys on average, but less time is being spent with family; so what are we doing with our free time (but we don’t have to till the fields and there is an aging population)!
Ecological economists believe that the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the ecosystem. Right now most of the country is still a net carbon sink. The Boreal forest is actually the biggest carbon bank account on the planet. It’s even bigger than the Amazon. What I argue is that if we treat carbon like an annuity or an asset, we can put it on our balance sheet, but right now under Kyoto we aren’t treating it that way – we just look at flow.
Our ecological footprint has been very steady, but biocapacity has been decreasing as population increases. Very few people realize that we have a healthy surplus of biocapacity. Even though we consume at the rate of five planets, we are still in an enviable position.
I get really intrigued by companies who, for example LPAC in AB, who decide to operate on a sustainable forest regime, which may be more rigorous, more costly perhaps. Yet it shows perhaps the cost of that choice, which we think will preserve those ecological services. That’s where I think the economics gets more interesting and meaningful.
TS: After knowing how much data you can get and knowing there can be a data overload, how to get from that information to the results you want? In Old Crow they wanted to preserve their traditional values. So in a sense they didn’t need those numbers and information. The price system is a great way condensing all those costs. How do you get those costs into the market system – and of course a carbon tax is a part of that. But at the same time there’s the non-market system. It’s not always democratic. People with a lot of money can make more decisions. There is the issue of distribution. The important point is how do you get those decisions made? You also need a great amount of information and to make those decisions through the non-market system or through the workplace. Once you have that information how do you get to a positive outcome. I’m interested in perspectives on how accounting for those will affect the financial system.
MA: Why are we counting? Because it’s going to help us to make different choices and we’re more aware of the conditions of life. I think that’s a compelling enough reason. My vision is that these accounts – and I’m focusing on the accounting model as speaking the same language as businesspeople – is if more people in society were aware of these capital accounts they could do what they want with them. If you’re the United Way of Alberta you need to know where the needs are in your community. There’s a compelling reason for everyone to see themselves in the mirror of the balance sheet. Leduc is still struggling with this. Ultimately the way short-term politicians think is we want to get reelected in 3 years so right now I want a recreation centre. Yet there are other things going on and how to deal with that? We’re just beginning this.
TS: I see all the good work that’s been happening in Alberta. But has development changed? The government was on the forefront of this, but it didn’t lead to feedback loops in terms of policies.
MA: I’m disappointed as an Albertan. We need to have a natural gas capital account. Shouldn’t we be concerned? Yes, but we don’t have one. We know how important the oil sands is to US energy security, but we haven’t had an open conversation about how much, how fast, and we’re trying to get as much oil as possible right now.
TS: Doug, are you finding more accounting for potential costs – water, carbon, etc?
DP: Some. We’re so narrowly defined – we’re just trying to guess what GDP is going to do and the exchange rate – but there’s no doubt that a lot more people are asking about global warming and how business is going to deal with that and the rise in cost for energy. It’s slow. I guess I’ve not noticed any dramatic changes in the last five years.
TH: How do you get it into the day to day?
TS: I’ve seen it in carbon. The market has moved ahead of Canadian policy both through the increases in the price of oil, on the carbon side the information is pretty much there. Statscan has got a pretty impressive input output GHG accounts with emissions. And you apply a price – $35-70 a ton. You do some accounting and it works out to $10-20 billion per year in terms of the GHG cost. The big question is the policy side. Do you have an emissions-permitting system that gives free permits, and what portion do you charge on that?
TH: What kind of investment does that spur?
TS: Some of the interesting things are the issue of risk and discount rate. That’s a major factor but we’re already suffering on the risk side as a result of the cost and rising insurance costs and things like that. On the public side of course the cost of mitigation and adaptation. There are also feedback loops so it’s hard to estimate that because to a certain extent, if the cost gets to high, then there’s some feedback loop due to market.
DP: I was at a meeting advising the BC government regarding whether or not to go for carbon tax. Every economist said yes, that’s the most efficient way. But I said oil prices have gone up from $10 to $100/barrel in the last 7 years and we’ve seen next to no impact on demand. We shouldn’t be implementing carbon taxes just for the sake of it. What is it going to take? It’s astonishing that demand hasn’t been blunted at all by market prices.
TS: There’s a very strong distinction between the short-term price of oil and expectations. The important thing is setting a long-term price signal of it rising like that and having complementary measures, whether regulatory or investment and others to magnify any impact. If you can do it over a longer period you can judge whether the elasticity of demand is influenced. We would invest a lot more if there was certainty and predictability. Have you found that Doug?
DP: I think that’s true. Uncertainty is definitely the biggest enemy of investment. That’s what industry wants – some very clear rules that they can work with.
TS: I talked to Don Drummond about that and he had a low estimate. They were adamant that they wanted same level of predictability and some level of internationally comparability so you can trade. Climate change is about risk and uncertainty and how you value future generations.
MA: Regulations creates conditions for innovation and investment that tends to follow.
TS: You need the balance and flexibility and the long-term signals to adapt. We don’t know what the long-term demand for fuel is.
TH: I think your point about the gas prices not making changes in behaviour – a carbon price is a blunt instrument with certain demographics like consumers, but it’s a really sharp instrument. You need a $200 carbon tax to make changes. It tilts the economics heavily for industry where they start to do fuel switching, process changes, and efficiency investment. It can be sharp for the consumer if the money is distributed to consumers to produce a turnkey solution that does not affect quality of life.
MA: I’d like to present another side of the argument. Keith Alexander (University of Calgary) said that we could put carbon back into the grounded source for $100 US per tonne. This is equal to $2.50/barrel to put the carbon back in Fort McMurray into the ground. The technology exists. What would that amount to for Alberta? $760 million/year. That’s less than we earn in gambling revenues. If the objective is to become a carbon neutral society, there are different ways of coming at it.
TS: I think we should have the carbon tax for the non-large final emitters and then have emission credits on auction so you don’t put businesses out of business. I would take account of the things that allow business to adjust on this.
TH: Is there anything you’re worried about in terms of carbon pricing from a worker perspective?
TS: There are a lot of vulnerable industries. Those from auto or steel or other ones they need some time to adjust and it needs to be done in a way so that Canada doesn’t stand out form US and China. You need funds in place for worker and industry transition to help them adapt. There’s talk about taking the proceeds from the carbon tax and reducing corporate income taxes. That doesn’t hurt the companies that would be affected by it – the marginal companies – because they aren’t paying a lot of income tax already. That would be a boon to the oil and gas sector. Maybe you should have an investment tax credit in some areas. There’s very interesting work that the congressional budget office has done on the impacts – whether or not you sell the permits, there’s going to be a price there that is passed on to consumers. It’s going to hurt the lowest income households the most because they spend twice the amount of their income on energy as the top 20%. In the interests on climate change you want them to have the ability to adapt and reduce their emissions as well. Refundable tax credits on that available to lower income households at a cost of $75/ton, which would add $1000 to their costs per year. That includes the indirect emissions, which are 3 times the direct emissions. People talk about being carbon neutral, but they’re only carbon neutral for a quarter of their emissions. On the household side it reflects also the decisions that businesses make. These things need to be gradual. In terms of opportunities, I think there are great opportunities in terms of the workplaces we represent. It’s important to invest in mitigation and adaptation. Municipalities are at the forefront of this.
TH: Congressman Dingle, who is the traditional defender of the car industry in Detroit, supported the auto efficiency standards, which are harsher than what we have in Canada. It’s part of the deal of the Liberman-Warner Act that maybe some of the carbon tax to help the auto industry retool. Dingle sees this as a way to help Detroit. So sometimes it’s not an either or, it’s a both and.
TS: There were lots of jobs created in Germany through retrofitting. If you start to price these things, there’s the issue of the cost of capital. Would this make hiring labour more appropriate? If you increase the cost of capital then you encourage investment and there are some complementaries between investment in machinery and equipment and labour savings, which would presumably create more investment in labour?
DP: I’m not sure that that follows necessarily. I was going to make a point – there’s a long-run relationship between real GDP growth and employment growth. I think it’s pretty clear cut that if we went into a period of slow growth we would find a lot more unemployment. I believe GDP isn’t the be all and end all but it is very closely tied to employment and at the end of the day that’s very important.
MA: Since WWII we don’t have a national balance sheet. We’re working on the basis of one line on the income statement. But the fact is that no business can operate without a balance sheet yet the government doesn’t.
DP: Statscan does have a balance sheet for the economy but it’s pure assets and liabilities.
MA: In Alberta Treasury, on the public assets, we treated those assets literally to the dollar and wrote them off. Alberta was the first government to try that and couldn’t believe that. It never existed before.
TS: There’s a great opportunity there in that way. The whole accounting field evolves in various ways. I mean accrual accounting is certainly changing the public accounts in a big way. It’s interesting what success the municipalities have had with their deficits estimates.
MA: I always ask the question, what is preventing us from acting, from doing this, at all levels? It’s not like data is absent.
TS: It’s not just having the numbers; it’s making sure that they’re useful meaningful, important numbers. A lot of criticism with the GDP, but I think of it as a measure of opportunity. It’s not necessarily a measure of wealth. And the unemployment rate is a rough measure of inequality. Why are those useful numbers? I don’t think you’re going to have numbers unless they’re used and useful and incorporated in different ways. Or else factored through the market system in that way. Price is a wonderful condenser or information. But it doesn’t account for everything. So you need to deal with those in parallel ways. You need to incorporate costs into the price.
MA: I think they can act on the information we already have, organizing it in a forum that is truly inventory, that is a true balance sheet. There’s no reason Alberta couldn’t have done that. How you construct it could be complex, but it’s better than what we’ve got now.
TS: Do you think there are opportunities for the insurance industry?
DP: They might find it useful, they may not pay for it.
TH: The everyday economics is GDP and jobs, plus inflation. Where are the strongest relationships with regards to natural capital? How do we assemble the info that we have and put it into a package that can be useful for predicting GDP? How do we bring the natural capital stuff into the everyday world? Make it useful for Bay Street?
DP: I think Mark’s going down the right road. You need GDP plus. It’s good for what it measures but it’s not the end of the story. There’s more to life than just physical output.
TS: It’s a gross measure. It doesn’t measure depreciation. There needs to be a net domestic product.
DP: There is but no one ever uses it.
TS: Every number is kind of squishy. It’s not entirely accurate.
MA: I make this kind of pitch to everybody because to me it’s a compelling argument to everybody. The environmentalists haven’t picked up on the natural capital argument. I think it’s applicable to any party or sector. It’s just prudent stewardship.
DP: We have to put a price on it because there has to be a common ground we can all agree on.
TH: Thinking about carbon, could there be something we could do – let’s take a look at the Liberman-Warner act and look at the allowances they will put on industries. What would that mean for Canada’s carbon-intensive industries? There would be a big transfer of wealth. It would make softwood lumber look small. This is a definite possibility – 57 senators support it right now. We had this talk with Don Reed about carbon and he said it’s totally not on my radar. We’ll just get out. Economists are bigger picture, longer term though.
TS: My sense is that there is a lot of interest on Bay St. because it’s another product.
DP: They want to know who could lose on it. That might be the bigger concern.
TH: Who could win too, maybe. It’s easier to predict who will lose.
TS: The economies and markets can work in funny ways. There’s lot of possibility for oil prices to go down if things get more efficient. A reaction like Don’s is almost irresponsible from a fiduciary point of view, not even from an environmental point of view. There are a lot of opportunities.
TH: Do you think it would be worthwhile to take a look at the price on carbon and what it would mean for our exports (like the oil sands, you could look at who is the highest intensity per barrel and then there would be winners and losers)? Rubin looked at what would this take out of cash flow. It wouldn’t be hard to get the numbers because the numbers are there. How much money would be transferred at the border from Canada to the US and which industries would pay more per barrel.
TS: I think there are great opportunities to look at costs and opportunities in terms of potential investments. It’s usually the business or banks looking at the cost side.
DP: I’d be interested.
MA: I’m surprised the American oil companies aren’t balking at this idea (the countervail kind of idea). Unless they’re not fully up to speed on the potential implications! If you can leave the cost at the border fine, but who holds the cost? Not US consumers! The company or Canadians?
TH: It’s a transfer of wealth from our companies to theirs. JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs are proponents of a price on carbon.
TS: GE is into this. There’s a lot of opportunities. There are a lot of windfall profits to be made.
MA: The costs need to be passed onto households otherwise it won’t work.
TS: I think my point is you’ve got to steer the revenues to compensate those who are affected and help them to make change, and to get ahead and make investments to have greater levels of efficiency and GDP growth.
TABACCO: A very UN-CAPITALISTIC IDEA, which would never fly in the U.S.A. unless we change our Capitalistic tune! The problem in America is that the poorest of the poor and points north all sing the praises of CAPITALISM in spite of the fact that CAPITALISM is their DOWNFALL, not their SALVATION!
THE POWER OF
MA: If we were smart we’d take the $760 million and get ahead of the curve and force the local producers to put the carbon back in the ground ahead of the wave.
TH: When you’re a company it’s cheaper to do it on the front-end. The other big thing in Alberta is the 10,000s of tons at the bottom of the barrel. They could burn it or bury it. The stockpiles of slag have different implications for their bottom lines.
TS: In Alberta, they want to slow down development there and you see that reflected in wages. The average weekly earnings were running below inflation. In the hottest area in the country their wages are falling. People want more balanced growth in different ways. There is concern about real estate but most people are more intelligent than policymakers give them credit for.
TS: What about scarcity of water? There’s an interesting parallel between carbon and water.
MA: We’ve done some water accounting for CIW. There’s two ways of looking at it: one is the natural recharge rate of the watershed and the drawdown. There are only two watersheds in the country that are above the acceptable rate of drawdown. But consumption of water per capita is going down over the past 15 to 20 years. So we do see some efficiencies.
TS: At risk of sounding like Lomborg, 20 -30 years ago there was concern about water pollution and they’ve been cleaned up. We also see more wildlife in cities.
DP: Probably because the cities are moving towards the wildlife.
TS: I think that you need to look back and say do the regulations really work in that area. Stronger regulations, stronger enforcement, stronger changes!
TABACCO: This does NOT sound like DEREGULATION to me!
MA: With air quality, the air improved after legislation (from the EPA).
TS: If you double the price of water for Canadian households, I doubt that would have any effect at all because the price is so low. If you want to change things you have to look at infrastructure and efficiency instead of price.
TABACCO: Whooooa, Silver! What are we talking about here –
COUNTER MSM PROPAGANDA?
Are the “Rest of us” prepared to ABANDON CAPITALISM for something – untried yes – but MUCH BETTER! What do you think Americans are – LOGICAL?!?
MA: Most of the watersheds are relatively healthy. Most water goes in from watershed and back out through our toilets. None of it is really lost, it’s just moving through the system. It’s the quality of it.
TS: It’s so hard to put a value on water. I was trying to think of all the different values we have on our water. Consumption, recreation, purifying the ecosystem, sanitary waste, transport, agriculture, thermal reasons are all areas where we use water.
MA: The only proxy we have is the amount we spend on water treatment. (Some people would say that the amount spent on bottled water is a proxy, but I don’t think so because it’s usually tap water put through reverse osmosis.)
TS: A large portion of the values I came up with is public, which is hard to get a private value on.
MA: I rebuff the idea of privatizing water. Water is a universal sacred thing that belongs to everybody.
TABACCO: Apparently MA has never heard of BOTTLED WATER!
TS: But you still need to deal with the problems of excessive use. And in terms of sustainability, the lines are not linear or smooth. You have events that occur at different points, which are always hard to predict.
TABACCO: I tried to avoid TRANSCRIBING from the LinkTV Documentary of the same name (‘The Economics Of Happiness’, not the Roundtable), but no go! So here are selected and important bits of that Documentary, transcribed by me from the above named Documentary, shown on LinkTV March 19, 2012:
An Economic Crisis, And A Crisis Of The Spirit
Bill McKibben, author of ‘Deep Economy USA’: The number of Americans, who say, “Yes, I’m very happy with my life”, peaks in 1956 and goes slowly but steadily downhill ever since.
Kim Spencer, Co-Founder of LinkTV and Narrator of Documentary: GLOBALIZATION is often seen as the Solution to many of humanity’s problems. But does Globalization help spread the wealth, or is it just another way to Colonize the Poor?
Well the following film reveals some inconvenient truths about Globalization and its role in the world today. From its disruption of local networks to the creation of Debt Economies, the filmmakers argue that Globalization is based on false accounting principles. Principles that do not take into account the actual long-term costs.
The filmmakers argue that we need to localize instead of globalize. They say that living simply will make us happier and that less is actually more.
Now we’re proud to present the premiere of ‘The Economics Of Happiness’.
“We are facing an environmental crisis, an economic crisis, and a crisis of the human spirit”. – Lead In
“We look around and see Businesses going on as usual; we see governments at best thinking 4-years down the road – when they really need to be thinking 7-generations down the road.”
“The future with less oil could be preferable to the present with lots of oil.”
TABACCO: Sometime in the near future, but long before gasoline is sold by the ounce, automobiles will no longer be even of the “Hybrid” variety (at least not hybrid with gasoline as one of the components). The Earth is humongous, but not nearly so large as Jupiter. It takes 10 million years for petroleum to develop to the point where man can use it. Even if Earth were the size of Jupiter, that supply would run out some day. For all intents and purposes, oil is a NONRENEWABLE FUEL! Around 2020 there will be no gasoline-driven cars or planes! Gasoline will be too expensive and Drilling will CEASE!
“La-dakh’ or Little Tibet in Western Himalayas is one of the highest inhabited places on Earth. It is remote and for centuries isolated from the outside world.”
TABACCO: If you have seen the 1937 film ‘Lost Horizon’ (which also takes place in the Himalayas) with Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt & Sam Jaffe, you have a good idea of what La-dakh’ was before American Globalization – an un-mechanized, charming farming community.
HELENA NORBERG-HODGE, Author of ‘Ancient Futures’, “Ladakh was a huge source of inspiration. I learned about social, ecological and personal well being, about the roots of happiness. I was also forced to reconsider many of the basic assumptions that I’d always taken for granted, and to look at my own Western culture in a different light.
“There was this sort of radiance and vitality that I never experienced anywhere else. Even the material standard of living was high. They had large, spacious houses, plenty of leisure time, there was no unemployment – it had never existed. And no one went hungry.”
TABACCO: Can you say, “Shangri-La”!
“Of course, they didn’t have our comforts and luxuries. But what they did have was a way of life that was vastly more sustainable than ours and that was also more joyous and rich.”
FILM NARRATOR: In the mid-1970s, Ladakh was suddenly thrown open to the outside world. Cheap, subsidized food, trucked in on subsidized roads by vehicles running on subsidized fuel, undermined Ladakh’s local economy.
At the same time, Ladakhis were bombarded with advertising and media images (Backstreet Boys, Rambo, etc.) that romanticized Western style CONSUMERISM (Pepsi Cola) and made their own culture seem pitiful by comparison.
HELENA NORBERG-HODGE, “As the area was increasingly exposed to the ‘Consumer Culture’, I saw how people started to think of themselves as backward, primitive and poor. The same young man, who 10-years earlier had said, “We have no poor houses here”, 10-years later said to tourists, “Oh, if you could only help us Ladakhis; we’re so poor”
FILM NARRATOR: Today, Ladakh faces a wide range of problems that were unknown in the traditional culture.
HELENA NORBERG-HODGE, “The changes in Ladakh were so clear-cut, and I saw with my own eyes CAUSE & EFFECT. One minute you have a vital people and a really sustainable culture; the next you’ve got pollution both of air and water, you’ve got unemployment, a widening gap between Rich and poor, and perhaps most shockingly of all, in a people, who had been so spiritually grounded, divisiveness and depression.
TABACCO: Their young men look like American youth gang members today!
“These changes weren’t the result of innate human greed or some sort of evolutionary force – they happened far too suddenly for that. They were clearly the direct result of the exposure to outside economic pressures, and I witnessed how these outside pressures created intense competition, breaking down community and the connection to nature that had been the cornerstone of Ladakhi culture for centuries.
This was Ladakh’s introduction to GLOBALIZATION!
1. the deregulation of trade and finance in order to enable businesses and banks to operate globally.
TABACCO: That’s it! I will transcribe no further. If you want to view the entire hour-long Documentary, either call Dish or DirecTV and switch from Cable, then wait for the Documentary to be shown again – I guarantee you it will, or buy the documentary itself without the LinkTV intro however.
I have done you a great disservice by not continuing with the other stories in this Documentary and by leaving off with such a downer. But my disservice is not nearly so great to you as ours is to the Ladakhis!
So much for CAPITALISM and GLOBALIZATION!
Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.