A Tale of Two Economies

David Korten wants your help planning the narration for a new video about our economic choices: Wall Street’s phantom wealth vs. the real wealth of a Main Street economy.
Family bicycle, photo by Marc van Woudenberg

People around the world are already building the foundation of a New Economy.

Photo by Marc van Woudenberg

We are exploring the possibility of producing a short video with the title “A Tale of Two Economies." Below is an initial draft script for the voice-over. I welcome your feedback and suggestions. Does the title work? Is the message clear and meaningful? Once we put it out with a clever animation, would you be likely to circulate it to your social network? 

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Have you ever wondered why the Wall Street speculators who brought down the economy are still being rewarded with vast fortunes? Or why teachers, nurses, factory workers, truck drivers, and all the people who do real work are struggling to put food on the table? The pundits talk about a jobless recovery. But how can it be a recovery when jobs remain so scarce and pay so little? And why do so many people find that the harder they work, the more they owe the bank? 

Welcome to the phantom wealth economy—designed and managed by Wall Street bankers and corporations. They profit from packaging and selling worthless mortgages, manipulating share prices, and charging usurious interest rates. They thrive on financial bubbles, low wages, foreign sweatshops, tax evasion, and public subsidies. They overcharge us for medicines, tell us we can’t have essential medical treatment, pollute and pillage the environment, corrupt politicians, and get us ever deeper in debt.

When we lose, Wall Street wins. For Wall Street, the current economy is performing splendidly.

But Wall Street’s phantom wealth economy is not our only option. We can have a real wealth Main Street economy, based on goods and services that serve people and restore nature.

Patriots of an earlier time declared their independence from a British king and his corporate monopolies. We too can declare our independence—this time from Wall Street—and build a New Economy based on local control and sound market principles responsive to our values, needs, and interests.

Millions of modern patriots are already doing it.

They’re moving their money to local banks and credit unions and organizing “buy local” campaigns to keep their money circulating in their communities. They’re reducing their dependence on money by practicing voluntary simplicity, establishing home and community gardens, retrofitting their homes for energy conservation, and biking rather than driving.

They are taking back government by organizing New Economy discussion groups to reframe the political choices, running for political office, and demanding new rules that get big money out of politics—and free themselves from rule by Wall Street corporations.

We can have a New Economy that provides meaningful, living wage jobs for all who seek them, favors working people over financial speculators, restores environmental health, and provides our children with hope for a better future. It is ours to choose. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Get the real story and spread the word:


  • from David Korten's blog.

  • An excerpt from the brand-new 2nd edition of Agenda for a New Economy.

  • Robert Shetterly’s remarkable collection of portraits reminds us of the dignity, courage and importance of America's truth tellers. This portrait: YES! Board Chair David Korten.