Established powers such as governments, financial services and institutions are yet to take serious lessons from the 2008 global financial crisis. Like a moat, large financial buffers were created to safeguard the existing financial order and their established ways (mores). Only marginal, but not fundamental adjustments have been made. But this path of accepted financial conventions inevitably goes from crisis to crisis and ultimately will lead the great masses into economic bondage, social chaos and cultural death. An important indicator of the (im)balance of the economy is the distribution of wealth, that is the distribution of incomes on one hand and the distribution of capital on the other hand. Both distributions point in the direction of continuing polarization: economically, the social organism is becoming increasingly ill. That is a most worrying issue that affects us all.
Herman Gels’ Balanced Economy-Gift Economy/Lend Economy/Buy-Economy aims to provide a way out. The economy, including the complete financial household, is not something we encounter; we create it ourselves. We are accountable and we will have to take responsibility. Our society is facing a decisive choice: continue with the existing paradigm or choose for a new, more equitable and sustainable direction. According to Rudolf Steiner, this new direction begins with recognising and respecting the threefold social order, and by doing so, making a distinction between three fundamental qualities of money: gift- money, lend-money and buy-money. This quality approach leads us to a more human-friendly society with cultural freedom, social harmony (cosmos versus chaos) and economic brotherhood. Balanced Economy elaborates on this distinction in more detail and, with a concrete example, shows how this can be applied in practice e.g. in the structure and use of the balance sheet and the statement of income and expenditures. This elaboration yields some remarkable insights. The application has major consequences for share trading, the current capital and income distribution and for bank lending. And most important, this approach liberates our cultural institutions and cultural live from the compelling hands of government and business.
Herman Gels: Balanced Economy-Gift Economy/Lend Economy/Buy-Economy, self-published in The Netherlands, October 2017.
The English version of the book, published in October 2017, can be downloaded here for free (pdf): toegang.kb.nl/dram/service/publication/file/IP1516872017664-CF1516362404131/Balanced_Economy.pdf/application/pdf