Does GDP really mirror wealth in our society? Is our bank account the true indicator to our wealth?
At the end of 2009, a friend lent us a book by Patrick Viveret, “Reconsider Wealth”, her bible she said, ours too from then on …
Patrick Viveret criticizes the GDP, explaining that this indicator is completely ill-adapted to social and ecological matters, perhaps even counter-productive. Even though our leaders swear only by its growth, the GDP is not exactly the best indicator! It does not take into consideration the environment and the impact of the increasing number of activities as long as they generate monetary flows. It records as a positive outcome all types of destructions. Absurd as it may appear, disasters such as mad cow desease, Erika or road accidents are an actual blessing for the Gross Domestic Product!
Patrick Viveret then criticizes the monetary system.
As the saying goes endless money forms the sinews of war, it rules our world! And the right to create money has been passed on to the banks throughout the granting of credits without true democratic debate. Why cannot a community create itself the money that it needs? After all, money is only a means of payment that seals a “deal” between two parties. It’s a monetary unit that should not be valued more than it really is. Just as feet and pounds the currency is a benchmark that allows adding disparate elements and thus multiplies exchanges. But instead of being a mere instrument serving the creation of wealth the currency has transformed into asset, a personal possession that has its own value, an object of competition, speculation and storing. And this is how we end up thinking that wealth is quantified by a bank account …
One of the solutions suggested by Patrick Viveret is social money! We have discovered this original phrase, which brings together these two apparently paradoxical concepts.
Social money represents a system of tools that enable the exchange of goods, services or know-how organized by and intended for small communities by means of an ad-hoc monetary organization.
To learn more about it, see “social money in a nutshell”
Social money seems to be a non convertible change leverage necessary to promote sustainable development. We have been 200 % convinced by this wonderful resource and therefore have decided to quit our jobs and our life in Paris and dedicate our next years to sustain and develop complementary money!
Let the adventure begin …