Recovery of a human scale in economics

Here’s another quote for the day, one that relates back to my question on whether or not more pricey modern fads such as organic food will weather the economic downturn. From an NPR story about a dairy farmer in upstate New York who’s hoping to grow his burgeoning operation:

    Hesse is offering 6 percent interest for an unsecured loan of $1,000. His business plan taps into a pair of burgeoning movements — the first characterized by an interest in organic, locally grown food; the second by an environmental approach to economics.

    That approach is championed by Woody Tasch, a venture capitalist and author of the new book Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money. Tasch argues that money is flying around the globe too fast. He rows hard against mainstream economics, which says growth is good and the marketplace knows best. “I’ve just had it with all of this so-called ‘making-a-killing expertise,’ which is actually killing the planet,” he says. “I think one of the antidotes is daring to move to the other side of our brain, and kind of put down all that economic and fiduciary nonsense and just act like regular people.”

I like the idea of a slower economy. It’s something that’s been in my mind for a couple years now — beginning before the current crisis — but since I’m nothing like an economist I hadn’t been able to articulate these thoughts.

I would probably refer to Tasch’s slow money idea as economics on a human scale. Architects decry cities salted with skyscrapers for the same reason; the buildings are disproportionate to the human physique. Would it be a fair assessment to say that the current American economy grew too big for its own good in a similar way, that — despite our ability to create such a monster — it’s no longer something we can relate to as humans?


Read more about Tasch’s Slow Money Alliance via this link.

Image from Wikipedia.

About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

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