Your Economic Vote: Your Influence On Politics And The Economy


Lawrence F. London, Jr. - Venaura Farm - Chapel Hill, NC, USA
mailto:london@sunSITE.unc.edu  http://sunSITE.unc.edu/InterGarden
mailto:llondon@mathernet.com  http://mathernet.com/llondon
Title: Your Economic Vote: Your Influence On Politics And The Economy

Your Economic Vote: Your Influence On Politics And The Economy

(Under construction)

The hope is that the following information can help you optimize and balance your health, budget, time, ethics, and your general quality of life. The definition of what a "good balance is" is obviously up to you. This page will never be complete, but it is hoped that it will help regardless.

Becoming less dependent on many of today's primary sources of food, energy and other fundamental materials may be both good for you and easy to do. Being aware of the ways you can be independent of big business sources allows you to exercise your right to the economic equivalent to a vote for what you would like to support. This document presents much evidence that your daily economic votes generally influence both politics and the economy more than your political votes. Also, answering the question of how to become less dependent gives some answers to these questions:

The following is a mixture of essay and information regarding your quality of life and its relationship to your economic influence and dependence on our political and economic system. It assumes that your primary dependence on the economic system is due to dependence on products and services, the lack of which would cause hardship.

A frequently asked question is "What are you trying to sell here?" I have nothing to sell. I am interested in sharing information gathered and receiving more. I have been trying to find a balance among factors influencing the quality of life. For many, one's capacity to produce and/or accumulate money is the primary means of measuring one's capacity to meet various needs, especially material. I see money as just one factor to be balanced among many others, even for material goods.

Another reaction that is common is "producing my own food (or other alternative) takes more time and energy than I have." This is true in many cases. The goal is to find the exceptions to this general rule. For example, I find that in many cases, I can grow some easy to grow foods by planting cheap or free seeds with little soil preparation and weed only once or twice and get more food for the total time than the equivalent trips to a store. In general, far fewer trips are needed when you produce your own goods. Since I don't need as many things from stores, riding my bike to work works out better (so the car is used much less). Riding the bike to work takes about an average of 5 minutes more, but I make it exercise on the way home and save time by killing two birds with one stone. Also, less use of the car saves time in fewer trips to the gas station, less maintanence, etc. Producing your own goods generally means less packaging to tear open (and sort, if you recycle) and dispose of. One thing harder to quantify is the time and energy gained by the health benefits of much of this, also.

I don't claim to have the answer of the best balance for anyone. What I claim is that there may be information in or pointed to by this page that will help you find a better balance.

This page is a living document. I plan on adding many more links to related pages that are on the web. If you have practical, related information or links to add, please send to: kevinf@teleport.com

Aspects of "good" sustainable (ecological/economic) living:

If you are like most in our society, then instead of producing what you need, you produce something you don't need, get money (after paying taxes for the privilege) for compensation and then buy (paying for sales tax, income tax, payroll tax, production, unwanted processing, transportation, storage, packaging, waste disposal of packaging of) what you need. The following industries generally rely on your role in this:

Big Business That Relies On Your Financial Support

While the mainstream media has little financial incentive to promote most of the alternatives presented in this document, much of the media has a disincentive to report much of what follows. This disincentive is due to large advertisement revenue or outright ownership of media (See The GE Boycott: A Story NBC Wouldn't Buy as an example. For much more see FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) and try looking up a company of your choice using the Index for FAIR publications.)

Industries that represent the dominant source of food, energy and somewhat neccessary or addictive products follow:

The Food Processing Industry

The Energy Industry


The Automobile Industry

Addictive Substance Industry

This broad subject is included because of direct costs to you should you become another victim and indirect costs to you through taxes, general cost increases and crime related costs.

For what it's worth, I not only don't produce or consume illegal drugs, I generally have no interest in consuming substances which contain caffeine, alchohol or tobacco. My opinion is that the sale of harmful substances, including tobacco and drinking alcohol, should be against the law, possession or consumption in public should remain illegal, but the private possession of them should be legal. Treat it a bit like society treats sex. As long as no one makes money from it and it's out of public view, we would rather have privacy than police in the bedroom. The logic behind this is that most of the damage done to society is through the economic incentive to create a demand for and control the flow of these substances. Individuals that chose to escape will always find a way, regardless of what's legal. Making possession and use legal takes away the "cool" factor I saw my friends get sucked in by when I was growing up. Thus, it reduces the demand in these two ways.

In short, take the money out of it.

Misc. Industry Information Links

Leisure "Industry"

Alternatives To The Mainstream Sources

There are degrees of "alternativeness" regarding the following sources. For example, buying your food, unprocessed and in bulk, avoids supporting much of the undesired actions of food processing industry, but still may support unsustainable, erosion provoking agricultural practices. Growing your own food, while potentially circumventing all industry, many people do not know how to grow food with available space with little or no money or time invested. I hope this can be remedied, partly by information and links to be added here.