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Ending a Taking Economy and Creating a Giving Economy: Confronting the Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) and Taking Effective Action


The world can no longer afford a taking economy where “make a killing” is the motto. Together we need to create a giving and sharing economy that helps us all “make a living.” This essay will unveil the present unjust and unworkable economic system that punishes responsibility and rewards fraud. It then outlines implications for the average person and ends with new, powerful, and practical principles and visions driven by connected communities. This essay brings together many of the ideas I will be discussing in a new series on Transforming Economy on GaiaTV (

Where we are now (or “It’s pretty bad out there.”)

“So we have a lawless system. What does this mean for citizens and investors? In the near term it means that the fundamentals will not apply. Anything that maintains or augments elite wealth and increases elite options will be supported, and anything that consumes or converts common people’s wealth and labor and restricts their choices will be pursued.” – Zeus Yiamouyiannis, Transforming Economy: From Corrupted Capitalism to Connected Communities (

This is where we stand, but this does not have to continue. First, we need to become factually aware of “where we are now.” This allows us to take active responsibility as aware citizens without simply blaming ourselves for our personal and collective situation. In doing this we have to be courageous enough to learn about the unfair realities that surround us without capitulating to helplessness. Knowledge is power, and the next three sections will bring you into the dynamics of the present economy, empower you to avoid self-blame for problems you did not create, and alert you so you won’t be contributing to the mess. In the fourth section we will talk about proactive alternatives.

Why is it that 61% of “regular people” in the U.S. think they have not recovered from the Great Recession ( while the talking heads on 24-hour news shows seem to think everything is fine? The answer is simple: We now have a global two-tiered financial, ethical, and regulatory system.   The rich and politically connected do not get prosecuted for outrageous fraud, while little guys get penalized for a tax return error. Billionaires can pay zero taxes, and you pay 25-30% of your modest salary. Rather than being marched into jail, corporate executives who preside over corrupt practices walk away with hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation ( There is no active accountability in the system as it stands presently.

Economic fundamentals have ceased to apply. Consequences for disastrous or corrupt upper-level financial decisions roll downward and profits are drawn upward. Wealth is concentrating into fewer and fewer hands. Private companies hog revenue and dump financial liabilities on public taxpayers. When big banks screw up in a way that should bankrupt them, taxpayers bail them out, and then these same corrupt companies reward themselves with near record bonuses. Gold and silver prices are manipulated downward to keep the U.S. dollar and stock markets inflated.

Even house prices, food, and other commodities cannot escape this mess. One middle class salary could buy a house and a car in the early 1970’s. Now couples with two middle class salaries cannot afford a house. An uproarious and sobering interview on the Daily Show exposed the Mortgage Bankers Associations “strategic default” on their own 79 million dollar mortgage for a headquarters building in Washington, D.C. They could pay the mortgage but wanted to save money and rent a cheaper building five blocks away. This did not prevent the CEO of the Association from insisting that it was a moral responsibility for the little people who can pay their mortgages to stick with the initial agreement (

How did things get this bad? There are many factors, but one fateful feature stands at the center, the Zero Interest Rate Policy (or ZIRP), a decision at the highest levels of governments and central banks, particularly the U.S., to give trillions of dollars of (interest-)free money to private banks and offload the burdens and consequences of that decision to public citizens. When money is free, especially to the worst abusers, decadence for the well-connected (and suffering for the “regular person”) are sure to follow. That is where we stand now, but this iniquity does not have to be the last word. We can empower ourselves by treating this uncomfortable truth as a doorway to inspiration, genuine choice, and effective change.

What we know

“Virtually zero percent interest rates are to long-term economic policy what junk food is to nutrition—it tastes great going down, but later come horrible results… [that] pose dangers to all of us… ZIRP [is]…how the Fed (Federal Reserve) gave the U.S. Financial Diabetes.”—Gregory Bresiger, in Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte’s article, “The Biggest Bank Heist in History!” (

How much money has ZIRP looted from responsible savers to subsidize crooked banks? Since the financial, crash of 2008 (2009-2015), the total amount of yearly U.S. dollars in personal savings accounts over the last seven years is about 5.1 trillion dollars ( At the typical near-zero interest bank savings rates of 0.02% to 0.03% applied to that 5.1 trillion dollars in savings account you get only 1 to 1.5 billion total interest for all personal savings for all Americans for 7 years. (To give you a perspective DARE [Drug Abuse Resistance Education] cost over a billion dollars and actually appeared to significantly increase drug and tobacco usage among teens!

Compare this paltry 1.5 billion dollars to the 85 billion dollars Americans lost in purchasing power for money left in personal savings accounts even against the low average inflation rate of 1.7% during those years (  (Look at these charts to see just how much purchasing power has declined for the average American, especially over the last three decades: and

To put the zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) in perspective, it would take a saver leaving $10,000.00 in a savings account (at .03%) over ten years just to recover one $35.00 overdraft charge. If you put one million dollars in a savings account averaging .025% compounded daily over the last seven years, your total interest would be a mere $1,752.00 or $250 a year! This is hardly enough to fund a retirement for two months much less seven years. Compare this to a 5% return compounded daily over seven years yielding $419,000.00 or $60,000.00 a year! Now you are seeing the personal true cost of the rigged economy.

ZIRP money also allows corporations, especially financial corporations, to buy up their own stocks. I call this practice “naked long buying.” It means that you buy up stocks to artificially boost stock demand and thus stock “value” with interest-free money. This creates false values and inflated prices unrelated to the productive fundamentals of the company. Because there is no effective cost to the money, a CEO can theoretically do this forever—goose the stock price by buying up a company stock, and then use the boosted stock price as collateral to borrow even more money to boost stock prices yet again.

All the while, the company’s CEO gets rewarded personally with outrageous compensation through stock options pegged to the value of the stock. Talk about conflict of interest! This “looting upward” is the opposite of “naked short selling’s” attempt to “loot downward” which depresses the price of a stock by putting in essentially false “sell” orders for stocks one does not actually own, canceling those orders, and betting separately on a “short” or price decline of the stock. This makes the naked short seller tons of money when other stockholders panic, thinking there is about to be an exodus from the stock, sell their actual stock, and lower the price of the stock for real.

The reality of lost purchasing power caused by ZIRP acts as extortion for John and Jane Q. Public to enter the stock market to keep personal financial asset values above inflation. This artificially inflates the stock market even more. This contrived demand keeps the stock market up, not fundamentals or the worth of companies. That is why we are seeing the Dow Index at 18,000 instead of 6,000 (

ZIRP also helps to depress the price of gold, which usually operates as a hedge against a poor stock market.  Gold has been flat for the past four years ( ZIRP depresses good-paying jobs and wages by promoting debt-financed living, which serves as a substitute for better wages. Is it any surprise the federal minimum wage has not been increased in seven years? ( ZIRP depresses mortgage rates (which are now near record lows), which may seem like a good thing because it lowers monthly payments, until you realize that abnormally low mortgage rates along with tax-deductible interest hyper-inflates the sales price of homes far above the market-set rental rates of comparable homes. (

People in the middle of a career may pick up extra work hours to cover income losses, but how is a Millennial or a retired person expected to survive in these conditions? They cannot currently be expected to cope without incurring further debt, which will swallow what little money they have left in earnings or savings. Currently large numbers of seniors are cannibalizing their retirement principal to get by, and Millennials are being subsidized with help from their parents. However, this strategy cannot go on forever. Principal runs out, and borrowing financial help without an opportunity for productive contribution and compensation simply drains the economy dry. As I say in my book, in the end with this system, there is no actual money. There are only IOUs.

All this is compounded and pressurized even more by the skyrocketing costs of college tuition and health care ( that far outstrip by many times both inflation and the consumer price index.

As I detail in my book, Transforming Economy (, all this larcenous nonsense is undergirded by a complete lack of serious investigation, much less prosecution, of the crooked financial institutions who caused the financial collapse of 2008 and have since profited from laundering money for terrorists and drug cartels. ( Is it any wonder we have seeing growing criminal boldness like that evidenced in the recent scandal at Wells Fargo, where millions of accounts were created in the name of customers without their knowledge so the bank could charge customers fees. Yet, it looks like the head of this division of Wells Fargo will walk away with 125 million dollars in compensation rather than being held accountable (

What this means

“For any professional investor, this is the most difficult period we’ve ever experienced… You have high multiples of cash flows, low yields. I’ve never seen it in my career. It’s the most treacherous moment”—Joe Baratta, Blackstone’s global head of private equity (

This quote above was taken from a very recent article on In that article many investment firm executives are pinning the blame for the poor investment climate on ZIRP. Wise investment used to mean prudent saving and strategic, diversified allocation of money according to economic fundamentals. In a healthy economic system, money has to cost something (in terms of interest or some other productive equivalent like labor) or it basically has no value for investment purposes, because it cannot generate true growth.

Furthermore, cost-free money promotes spending beyond means for consumers and company executives alike. Traditionally, this irresponsibility would lead to inflation, higher interest rates, and “paying the piper,” curtailing the irresponsibility. But now, interest rates are being actively suppressed (along with responsibility) to a near-zero mark as a matter of long-term policy to keep the U.S. dollar, housing market, and stock market artificially aloft, i.e. out of the reach of up-and-coming savers, creating a stagnant condition in the movement, or “velocity,” of money.

Global central bank and government intervention, in order to save economic elites from the consequences of their poor financial decision-making and behavior, prevent the natural flows and counterbalancing that should normally occur in the various parts of the world economy. Self-correcting markets and price discovery (the process of determining the price of an asset in a marketplace through authentic interactions between buyers and sellers) have vanished. We don’t really know the financial value of anything with a dollar sign attached to it, because that value is, in essence, based in funny money.

As a result, there will be no completely safe individual investments, since economic fundamentals can no longer be relied upon in a rigged economy. It is as if some overarching authority just decided to simply change the size of an inch or a centimeter. How could you then measure your height in such a situation? How could you accurately measure how wealthy you are financially in our current rigged economic system? There no longer seems to be a rational alignment between economic cost and value. This means questioning so-called conventional wisdom and critically considering whether or not to even own property or go to college.

Here are some examples:

What you can do about it

Okay, we have a rigged system. There is no true money. We have a perfect storm of easy money for the 1%, economic burden for the 99%, and market distortion for all 100%. What can we do about it? In such a skewed climate, the best investment you can make will be in quality of life, simplifying/decluttering/forgiving debt, and building communities of relationship and exchange. We will have to get real about where we are now and invent our way forward together.

Extending more credit-debt and adding another few trillion dollars to the national debt is not a solution.   This conventional practice to “extend (loan lengths) and pretend (that debt equals money)” does not work. In fact, kicking the can down the road only makes our collective coming-to-terms far more difficult. We need courage, compassion, and creativity. We will have to create our own community economies, ones that actually work and reward honesty, meaningful work, and collaboration.

When we have no champions, we will have to be champions for one another.

What might this look like? I will give a few examples below that I will be discussing in my GaiaTV series to be released over the next couple of months, starting today, but the more detailed opportunities are provided in the last third of my book, Transforming Economy ( .

Transformed economic thinking and practice: Ten operating principles in the new economy (or how to have a higher quality of life through less money and better relationships)

1) Invest with integrity: If you don’t support what a company is doing don’t invest in it, no matter how much that company supposedly earns. If it gathers its earning on the backs of sweat shop workers or on the back of the environment, don’t invest in the company. If it supports new, cleaner, and more promising technologies and practices, consider investing. I chose specifically not to invest in oil at its low, even though I knew price would be rising in the future, because I do not want to support fossil fuels.

2) Consume and spend according to need and quality rather than greed and vanity: This may mean purchasing less but buying something that lasts longer. Refuse to be drawn into the manic extortion myth that we all must consume more or our economy will collapse. Our economy will adapt in the direction of our purchases.

3) Know your purchases have power: This principle is well explained in this short video by actor Woody Harrelson ( Changes in purchasing force changes in market. A rise in the concern and demand over healthy eating has forced McDonald’s to offer more salads, Wal-Mart to offer organics, and big companies like Kraft foods to buy up smaller organic companies because they are losing market share.

4) Explore the possibility and beauty of house sharing: Single-family residences are becoming a thing of the past because of their cost and environmental impact. Think about it: Families living together can have brothers and sisters for their children even if a particular couple only has one child. Families living together can share food preparation, saving in time and cost. Families living together can share childcare, freeing up adult time to do other things.

5) Time banking ( Time banking is a great way to respect the talents and contributions of others on an equal basis. In this system people trade skills, no matter how basic or refined, one hour matched to one hour. Gardening skills, graphic design, information technology, karate instruction all become, in essence, exchangeable currency on the common unit of time. This not only allows jobs to be taken care of without actual cash changing hands, but it builds community and respect for the talents of others.

6) Local currency (money printed and kept in a community for exchange of local goods and services), open-source alternative currency, and electronic currencies (like Bitcoin, etc.): These allow for grass-roots influence over monetary policy. You won’t simply have some technocrats devaluing the currency or raising or lowering interest rates on local currencies, for instance. These alternative currencies and the practices associated are so potentially powerful because they are voluntary, and dedicated to relationship and contribution and not simply individual extraction. They are run on a very different practical value system.

7) Debt forgiveness: Sometimes the simplest and most direct actions create a space of people to start a new life. When a person simply cannot pay a debt, oftentimes due to illness or divorce or a loss of a job, it does not make sense to force them into an even worse situation by piling up fees and interest on money that they owe. It actually helps everyone if debtors’ talents can be freed up from simply servicing debt. A simple way to start with this on an individual level is to retire debt owed within a family, with the expressed blessing that such a reprieve will pay itself forward in volunteer work and ability to pursue one’s passions.

8) Gifting each other tax-free money, goods, and services: Few people take advantage of the fact that the U.S. government allows Americans to gift any individual person (without limit to the numbers of people) up to 14,000 dollars per year without having to report it ( The Internal Revenue Service does say that you have to value your services when given to another person, but who is going to exceed 14,000 dollars of services? We can be legal, and still generous, without getting tangled up in a bureaucratic mess. This principle extends to swap meets, tool lending libraries, and so forth. By enhancing direct face-to-face economic exchange through cultural exchange in MeetUps, library talks, and community strategy sessions, we are re-humanizing the economic system and taking back our power.

9) Voluntary simplicity ( Self-chosen low income, tiny homes, and urban gardening: “Less is more.”  “Small is beautiful.”  The virtues of voluntary “downshifting” and sustainable living create their own, largely non-material, quality of life rewards. Less space can mean greater intimacy. If you don’t want to support a bloated military with your tax dollars, instead of being thrown into jail for tax dodging, why not make less than the personal exemption on your taxes, while making up the difference with community-oriented exchange of tax-free gift money and services? Simplicity psychically de-clutters the mind and the person does not have to worry so much about maintaining or losing material goods.

10) Refuse. Refuse.  Refuse.  “Unplug” from unethical businesses: What could be more revolutionary than for Wal-Mart executives to wake up one day and realize that no one is coming to their stores? What would happen if consumers made demands en masse that a store must pay a living wage or they simply will not shop there? We do have the power to organize around pro-social choices to force change in a non-violent way with our refusal to participate in unjust practices. If we are to be “we the people” and our government is to be a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” then we have to learn to assert our authority and responsibility in meaningful, impactful ways.

Transforming for Real: Ten New Rules for Effective Change

(by Zeus Yiamouyiannis, Ph.D., October 9, 2013)

In the introductory chapter to my new book, Transforming Economy: From Corrupted Capitalism to Connected Communities, I made this important distinction:

“We have been taught… to understand change as something that happens to us, as something beyond our control… But what if change is something that happens from us, something we choose, initiate, and develop?  What if refusing to initiate and participate in constructive, personal and collaborative change is tantamount to signing a death warrant for future generations?” (Yiamouyiannis, Transforming Economy, pg. 1)

Change has gained an undeserved scary reputation.  In the predict-and-control obsessions of late industrialism, avoiding change has been characterized as desirable, as “common sense.”  Perhaps this is why the craft of proactive, conscious change is so poorly developed. People have been taught that change is brutal, and that change-making is only necessary when crisis levels hit.

Rule #1 of effective change:  Accept and choose a constant reality of change. 

Change cannot be avoided.  Our only real options are to initiate and change consciously (transform and participate in change) or be changed unconsciously (become an object, an effect of change).  Change is inescapable.  Everyone knows this deep inside, yet many still avoid conscious change and let change happen to them as if it were fate.

We do not have to allow this unhealthy aversion to operate as law.  Yes, change is a hearty challenge to the illusion of permanence that so many of us fight to preserve.  “Maintaining the status quo” takes on many forms: individual labels and stereotypes, racial and religious dogmas, social and political privilege, and economic inequality to name a few. And this is the good stuff we are fighting against change to save?  Let’s instead embrace change, identify what we need to change, and strive for positive change.

Rule #2 of effective change: Stability can co-exist with even dramatic change.

Genuine stability means channeling change into constructive forms.  This is not achieved by attempting to “slay” change as a threat to stability.  Change is not a dragon, but a dance partner.  Conscious, applied change actually aids stability by creating an avenue to systematically integrate new information with existing knowledge.  As humans, we either grow in wisdom and address our mistakes or die from our persistent idiocies.

Deluded notions of stability rest upon the fictional pursuit of a permanent formula or final solution. These delusions have created some of the greatest evils ever perpetrated: mass genocide, exploitation, and abuse. Change is not an enemy. Our own resistance to growth, awareness, and maturity is the opponent.

Rule #3 of effective change: Progressives, creatives, and marginalized people are best qualified to lead change.  That’s what they do for a living. 

Those with greater creative or adaptive skill are most qualified to enact effective change.  Progressives, independents, women, youth, techno geeks, gay people, minorities, public intellectuals, artists, cultural creatives, entrepreneurs, spiritualists, healers, community workers, vagabonds, free lancers, etc. are more likely to be qualified simply because they have more robust experience with forward-moving change.

Effective change has a different job description.  It’s not those that “fit in,” but those who don’t fit in, that have a better chance to succeed. These outliers tend to be those who successfully embrace the power of transformation in their work and home lives, or who have learned to adapt to and negotiate frequent change. With rare exceptions, the socially privileged are the worst qualified to lead change for the opposite reason. They tend to have greater interest and experience in keeping things the way they are. How can you move that mountain, if you are sitting on top of it?

This is why institutional so-called reform is such a popular replacement for genuine transformation. You can pretend to change by making a few minor adjustments around the edges while keeping the Titanic going straight toward that iceberg.  “Hey, ho, men. Stiff upper lip, wot!”

Rule #4 of effective change:  In revolutionary moments in history, reform is not sufficient.  Transformation is required.

Off the top of your head, can you name one effective, long-lasting reform that actually did all it was claiming to do?  I bet you’ll struggle to recall a single one.  Even successful reforms are often pale reflections of their original missions.  Why?  They are still operating within the same framework that gave rise to the problem.

I see this constantly in educational reform:  “Let’s give the inner city kids the kind of elite schooling they ‘deserve’ so they too can individually attain the upper middle class American Dream of owning five-bedroom environmentally unsustainable houses in the suburbs.”  These kids aren’t being schooled to go back to their communities and set up alternatives, or taught to link up with other citizens and collaboratively problem-solve comprehensive environmental, political, social, and economic challenges.  They are taught to take advantage of the current system, to take their slice of the pie, not to change the pie (and we need to change the pie).

Rule #5 of effective change: Conservatives and liberals can both assist effective change, depending upon how they contribute.  

Conservatives can be important supporters of effective change.  Effective change requires the best of the past to support an improved future.  True conservatives, those attempting to keep alive the best lessons, tools, and values of the past— practices, traditions, institutional memory, cultural literacy, classical virtues— are allies in effective change if those resources are put at the service of stronger advancement, understanding, and social growth. It is when those resources are used to reinforce bigotry, elitism, or a mindless and meritless status quo that they become foes of enlightened and effective change.

Liberals and liberal institutions can also support growth by providing social safety support through transitions—health care, education, jobs programs, food, shelter, and clothing.  This does not mean a “guaranteed” comfortable life.  Entitlements that insulate people from responsible participation in effective change are counterproductive. Both history’s challenges and benefits need to be constantly shared.  Young people, for instance, should not shoulder the reckless expectations and spending of older generations.

Rule #6 of effective change: Internal change is where you start.  It’s not “them” or “that” but I who must take initial responsibility.

We have been cooked by our society to externalize change.  It is time we individually own that.  It doesn’t matter what your political or cultural orientation is, or what labels might be used to describe you, you and I have been taught to “work change out” on something or someone else.  That way, “if it goes wrong” it blows up on their watch.

Do you have a risky project? Make your underling take the fall if it goes bust. That’s the game we’ve been taught.  Externalize the liabilities of change and internalize the rewards.  This social disease has reached grotesque proportions in our corrupted banking system, which continues to reap insane profits after trashing the world economy, escaping prosecution and investigation for massive fraud, and gouging citizens for trillions of dollars in bailout money.

Time to turn this dynamic on its head and insist that responsibility (not blame, mind you) starts with us. I may not have created the problem, but I’m going to be one of those who steps up to solve the problem.  I cannot do that until I clean up my habit of placing responsibility elsewhere.  Instead of protesting corruption, I will move decisively to disrupt corruption through organized actions that move energy and resources away from offenders.  “Move your money” was just the start.  There are many other ways.

Rule #7 of effective change: Move from reaction to proaction.

It’s time we move from “Hell no” to “Heck yes”.  Standing up for principles in protest can help others know they are not alone in their outrage, but this is only the start. Protest alone does not produce anything.  Its purpose is to ignite our ability to productively stand up, create, and apply real change beyond discontent.

Symbolic encouragements to change, in general, don’t work.  How can you effectively use satire, or shaming, or other indirect methods when you are attempting to influence those with no shame, little rationality, and zero sense of justice?  Concrete consequences, enforcement, and direct action create impact.  This takes two forms: 1) withdrawing participation from harmful institutions, and 2) creating healthy alternatives.

Direct, persistent involvement, not simple intention, generates results.  Let those who oppose positive change know that you will out-organize and outlast them.

Rule #8 of effective change: Individual lifestyle adjustments won’t do the job.  Powerful collaboration is required for significant transformation.

Who among you thinks that changing your incandescent bulbs to fluorescent bulbs is going to solve global warming?  Will it help to decrease energy use?  Sure, but such lifestyle adjustments only buy us time.  With adjustments we may reduce our usage rate but still continue to increase our overall consumption.  Systemic changes, the kind that can reverse our destruction and produce needed innovation, are a collaborative enterprise.

We need to move substantively and centrally from a material basis of well-being to a non-material basis of well-being in our individual and collective lives.  Bhutan, for instance, has built its national purpose around maximizing “gross national happiness” not gross national product.  The intentional community of Auroville in India is built around “peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities.”

Rule #9 of effective change:  Top-down, imposed transformation doesn’t work.  Ultimately we generate non-violent, creative, grass-roots change or we all fail.

Look over the past century.  Where has all the effective, lasting, healthy change come from?  From, non-violent, spiritually-guided, grass-roots, civil movements:  Martin Luther King and the civil rights movements, Gandhi and movements for Indian sovereignty, Cesar Chavez and migrant workers.  The list goes on.  You will notice in each the combination of non-violent resistance and inspired, courageous alternatives.

What has happened every time we introduce top-down “democracy” (read capitalism) at the point of a gun?  Failure, nearly every time.  When are we going to learn? When people are treated like objects, as the brunt of some effort to use them and take from them, their own dignity requires that they resist this exploitative “change.”

When people are empowered to share in a higher human cause, when they participate in creating and experiencing changes, they can rise in dignity and unity to support positive change. Incentives or mere laws may change certain behaviors, but they don’t win hearts and minds.  Respect is what wins hearts and minds.

Rule #10 of effective change: Embracing what you most avoid is the secret to real change.

There is nothing more powerful to the acceleration of positive change than a concerned citizen who takes a leap of faith to tackle something they know little about.  They were “minding their own business,” saw a need, and moved to act, even when they didn’t really know exactly what to do.  They learned, teamed up with others, and before you knew it they “Saved the Bay” or founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving or “took on the medical establishment” and helped develop a successful scientific treatment for a rare nerve disease.

They didn’t have expertise.  They had deep conviction and desire around positive change, and an “irrational” certainty that helped them overcome both their fear and lack of knowledge.  They spoke up, crossed boundaries, formed unorthodox alliances, and struck a chord of deep human commonality to shift possibilities.

Like many, I used to let my ideas roam freely but confined my voice to the background.  Then, I personally challenged myself to start a website (Citizen Zeus), embrace social media technology, author and publish a book, Transforming Economy, and learn to market and sell.  These were very uncomfortable for me, but I awkwardly welcomed them, and I learned I could not only do them but improve them over time.


Empowerment is the craft of positive, effective change— a movement that grows within you until it radiates outside you and catches on with others.  There is no greater empowerment than meeting an ignorance, insecurity, or weakness and turning it into a strength. What was once impossible is now being done.

Vital transformation involves “softening and leaning into the point,” as Buddhists say, and choosing proactive, conscious change in the face of daunting challenges.  It requires turning inside-out old premises and promises of the good life to yield new practices, possibilities, and realities in the world.

With all our pressing problems we are in a time of unprecedented opportunity and need for change.  Our resistance to change has produced greater problems than change itself.

We have nothing left to do but open up, activate wise, courageous change… and see what can happen.

Please share.  What is your change story from insecure foot-dragger to “heck, yes” change-maker?  

Introductory Chapter to My New Book Transforming Economy

Introduction:  We are the Change We Wish to See This essay is a call to citizens to put real work, ingenuity, and community above false promises and failed authority. Empowerment, in this essay about equipping citizens to transform and take control of the global economy; it is not about pumping up their self-esteem or misleading them with […]

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