I don't believe true wealth can disappear over night, and we have all seen that happen in the stock market, and probably will again (soonish?). That doesn't mean no one worked for any of that "evaporative" wealth, but does first world labor really deserve such a larger payday than that of 2nd/3rd world labor? This can all get very complicated, and the goal isn't to pin one part of the world against another, so I'll leave that part alone, but my point is that part of the VAST difference in standard of living is partly because of "Monopoly money" rather than us being that much more productive.
A lot of the wealth today has been created out of thin air (monopoly money), to which it might return. Much of the rest of the real wealth (potential energy) has been pumped out of the ground and wasted, some has been used in amazing ways. Only a small percent is currently tangible and sustainable (mostly sun energy, stored and rearranged by creative people in any way possible).
The good news for the poor of the world, is that the sun shines on the rich and poor alike, and the sustainable type of wealth can be created out of what's available. The issue then becomes equitable access to land and education. The education part is quickly becoming free to those who want it.
If your reading this you likely fall into the 1st world, likely overpaid (thanks to massive unpayable debt, due to the perceived credit worthiness of our bankrupt nation(s)) category. While I don't give financial advice, I think it's worth thinking about wealth more as the storage of potential energy rather than a number in a computer.
You might be thinking land or food storage or precious metals, which aren't bad compared to computer numbers. But what truly has the most potential energy, and the ability to harness that energy into more useful forms? I think people do. No, not like slavery, more like social capital. Investing into people and places, so they make your/our local economy truly richer. Everyone has different gifts and skills, the more of a blessing we can be to one another, the less need have for those numbers on our computer screens.
I'm not calling for the abolishment of money, it has its place (though it could stand improvement), but I'm more trying to spur some thought into the things that have real lasting value, and hopefully spur some changes into what we invest our time and energy into. Maybe your current skills are all in handling money "department", maybe you should see what else your good at, on the side. Maybe your rich in skills but not financial resources. Maybe your rich in land, but are tired of managing it all... opportunities abound for everyone. Let's think about how we can make them more available!
I've recently been doing some thinking about what the soul of my business looks like. If I boil away all the science and techniques of producing healthy food that have been rattling around in my head for the last decade, what's the point?
And the conclusion I came to is hope. Hope is the point! But its not blind or unreasonable hope, and it's not because everything is rosy.
I've heard it said that the more you know or see, the more you hurt. The deeper you dig, the darker it gets. I have found this can be true. If I am anything, I am a digger and a seeker, and all that digging and looking around for answers has lead me to discover some dark truths. Probably the darkest of those truths is that at the core of the medical and agricultural industries, the main concern is a constant increase in profit. That's very far from saying Doctors and Farmers are evil, I believe the opposite is true in general. However the systems that control these industries are based on corporations that have a legal duty to shareholders to increase profits. To boil that down, sell more chemicals is the goal of both. If people are getting healthier the medical industry is losing money. It can be hard to believe, but that's what I have seen, both in research and in my own health journey. Even from truly caring Doctors, the only real option is a drug. Even though I was told I have a disease that isn't going away, the symptoms of my illness are GONE! What's my secret? Eating real food! That's it!
So that hope thing I was talking about. Creation is actually fighting for us, if we stop fighting against it, things naturally get better! People often talk about how bad there soil is. Then you drive down the road and there are 500 bags of leaves along the road.
Take a second to think about how people have been farming for all of history (the good and bad), it will dawn on us that a forest floor is what farmers are hoping to see when they dig down into the dirt. So much of history people have cleared forests to allow the sun to shine into these great soils that have been built by decades of falling leaves being broken down into a rich, life filled layer of soil. Then when you realize that if we start working with nature instead of against it, we can extremely rapidly increase the rate of improvement! Everywhere we look there are waste streams that can be turned into rich soil in very little time.
When I try to simplify permaculture, its really to realize there is no such thing as waste in nature. We know this, but its a little easier to just follow the crowd, and do our duty to have a "tidy" yard. Sure we "feed" our soil from the bag of salt based fertilizer that's "perfectly balanced".
How about we try to mimic nature instead? Look how much abundance is in a forest! And no garden Gnomes are spreading 10-10-10 in the middle of the night! Lets do better! Lets stop fighting nature and each other, and start building communities that are capable of feeding ourselves a natural diet based on what grows in our region!
How much water can you be capturing?