Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Both/and Win/Win Thinking for Creating Jobs, Part 2

Creating jobs is not about either government or the ‘private’ sector, corporations or small business, but both/and.  For example, co-ops. Such community focused business organizations now have a membership of 130 million Americans, employing 865,000 people according to the 10/22 issue of the Christian Science Monitor.  Evergreen Co-operatives in Cleveland, operates an industrial laundry service, a solar company, and an urban growing center to create living-wage jobs. Instead of allowing mechanization and high tech to displace jobs, such community focused business organizations tend to look for ‘human solutions’ to increase productivity.


Both/and, win/win opportunities such as those represented by community focused business organizations abound in our current political/economic situation. For example, our current emphasis on paid employment ignores ‘off the books’ unpaid work, such as child rearing, domestic labor and thousands of hours of volunteer service. A both/and approach such as reducing the workweek would reallocate available work among more people, giving people more time for their families and communities. Such a both/and approach could enable people to exchange the soulless accumulation of toys and ‘stuff’ for the more meaningful benefits of contributing one’s talents to family and community. Right now, volunteer matching services and time banks facilitate this.


People are yearning for a new economy that increases well being, improves employment, diminishes meaningless consumption, and lowers destructive impact on the environment. A shift from either/or thinking to both/and thinking can begin to make this kind of economy a reality.

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