No More Throw-Away People: The Co-Production Imperative, by Edgar S. Cahn, is the newest addition to our reading list. The book is so important, and so uncannily in line with our values, I’m not sure what to say about it. It’s about time dollars. You should read it. It’s full of the kind of ideas that are so good — so complete, so necessary — that, once you’ve heard them, you are floored by their obviousness. Ideas so revolutionary they shouldn’t be revolutionary, and how is it possible I never knew this? Why isn’t this taught in schools?
Some brief quotes to get you started.
So far, people seem to be able to master the complex mathematics of Time Banking: 1=1. One hour helping someone equals one Time Dollar or Time Credit. That’s it. More and more people understand that there is something basically wrong with a society where an elderly person can be despondent because, in their words, “I have nothing left to give but love.” How can love be “nothing”? (Cahn xii)
If we accept a market definition of work, there are a few minor omissions worth nothing. Work does not include: raising children, taking care of one’s elder parents, keeping one’s family, functioning, being a good neighbor, or being a good citizen. So work includes everything — except family, community and democracy. Some of us think those things are rather important. If they can’t be addressed as work within the market, it is clear we need a larger framework than that supplied by market. (Cahn 41)
Feminism, anti-capitalism, community, and love come together in this book, all dovetailed into a cohesive strategy, one way to save the world. Very relatedly, Emily (hopefully!), our friend Brenden and I, and my girlfriend and maybe other friends, too,* are all planning on going to this conference. If you’re in the Santa Fe/Albuquerque area, you should come too! I am extremely excited.
* Isabel? Eh?
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