Author Proposes Way Out of Our Recessive Economy

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Our economy is slowing down. Recession is the word no one wants to mention. An alternative to the way we do business has been proposed by architect and author Albert Benoist. The Vertical System has components that are already in place and can level the playing field preventing future economic disasters.

In mid-March 2008, home prices were falling fast, mortgages were hard to get, factory orders slipping, and private-sector employment was down by 101,000 jobs. Is our economic slowdown a mild hiccup where economists have to dig deep into the data to determine whether they met some technical, after-the-fact definition of recession? Is this supposed to be the Big One, the Mother of all Recessions? By definition recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months and beginning just after the economy reaches a peak of activity and ends as the economy reaches its trough. We have seen the peak and are starting into the trough. Of the eleven post-World War II recessions, four started with positive-growth quarters, two were flattish, and five were negative. We saw a positive first quarter of 2008 but in the last few weeks the domino effect has begun with airlines cutting back or ceasing operations, housing starts slumping, gas prices causing the average citizen to rethink vacation plans and the general population beginning to spend their money only on essentials. It is only a matter of time until this belt tightening filters up to big business where layoffs will be inevitable.

Albert Benoist, author of the newly released book The Vertical System, has foreseen our economic woes and gives us a theoretical alternative. Based on monetary work value systems such as the Ithaca Hour, he has developed a process that would eliminate recession and depression and level the economic playing field. I asked why we needed a system different than the old tried and true transactional system. Benoist explained that a vertical system would provide unlimited capital while eliminating the need for taxation and actually makes money instead of shuffling it around. We already have the basis for the Vertical System in our debit cards, union work classifications and barter systems. We just have to implement them on a larger scale.

Our current system is profit driven even when at the expense of the consumer or the worker. If you can't make a profit, regardless of the value of the effect, it will not be done. Even when people's needs are disregarded in the process, it is of no consequence. To overcome this dilemma we need to re examine our basis for doing business so that a profit is made another way. What Benoist has proposed makes the profit motive much more productive, as well as making humankind more effective. Good functions are rewarded. Bad functions are not. It levels the playing field between the haves and have-nots and prevents the fluctuations in market highs and lows by developing a work-based system.

Although there have been many studies, there never has been an economy based on the value of work before because there was never a technology capable of supporting one. Now we have the computer technology and the tools. The Vertical System concept is based on the fact that work is the only real value. This idea comes from observation that all products are the result of work. Conversion of value to capital is instant, as soon as the task is completed. A value system of work accomplished vs. compensation guards against gouging, over-inflation and recession. It is worth investigating the Vertical System especially in this election year when we are looking towards change.


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Donna Martin
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