THE SIMPSONS SWEATSHOP
Banksy, Opening Sequence The Simpsons, Episode 3 Season 22; Fox Networks; Los Angeles, USA
2012, 1 min 43 sec
Banksy blows the lid off Simpsons Sweatshop! Street artist Banksy made his mark on The Simpsons, directing an opening-credit sequence that starts off with graffiti jokes and winds up in a grim Asian animation sweatshop. The last half of the intro, embedded above, plays like a miniature cartoon version of Upton Sinclair’s 1906 meatpacking exposé The Jungle. Apparently, vats of toxic waste, chipped furry critters and an abused unicorn all help keep the Simpsons entertainment factory chugging in the show’s 22nd season.
A HEALTHY ECONOMY SHOULD NOT BE DESIGNED TO THRIVE, NOT GROW
Kate Raworth, TED Talks, USA
2008, 15min 53 sec
What would a sustainable, universally beneficial economy look like? “Like a doughnut,” says Oxford economist Kate Raworth. In a stellar, eye-opening talk, she explains how we can move countries out of the hole — where people are falling short on life’s essentials — and create regenerative, distributive economies that work within the planet’s ecological limits.
Anti-Slavery Campaign; MTV
2007, 1 min 44 sec
Modern day slavery is big business. There are more people in slavery today than at any time in history… The UN estimates that 27 million people can be classified as slaves. Compare this to the 13 million Africans who were transported to the New World in the 350 years of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The market in slave made products and services is worth $32bn. The only truly new thing about slavery today is the collapse in the price of people. In Alabama in 1850 the average slave cost the equivalent of £25,000. Returns would have been around 5%. Today as slave might cost you as little as £20. Returns can be as high as 800%. People are cheaper and in more plentiful supply than ever. It’s a good business to be in.
Slavery in the 21st Century is essentially no different from slavery in previous centuries. You’re a slave if you are no more than something to be bought and sold. If you play no part in deciding your future and your fate. If yours is a life without options. Today, child soldiers, debt bondage slaves and women who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation are just some of the more obvious examples of slavery. But the countless asylum seekers and immigrants who are forced to work, often without pay, in the industries that inhabit the twilight world of illegality are also enslaved.
This ad as accessed via an e-mail that was sent to big names in the financial world, promising them a ‘hot new investment’. When they clicked on the link in the e-mail, the found a website for a financial company. Four Continents Capital Management, that seemed to be investing in slave labour. The ad introduced their CEO.
Edgar Cahn, Nesta, UK
2011, 7 min 11 sec
Dr Edgar Cahn, professor of law and founder of Time Banking, explains the concept of Time Banking. As another medium of exchange, another kind of money, Time Banking allows us to help others and, in return, get the help we need, create a interdependent community and oppose the system of money and barter, which leeds to purely commercial transactions.
In the system we use now, one of money and barter, abundance equals worthless, so every capacity we have as a human being is devalued as worthless because it’s abundant.
Time Banking is about universal values of exchanges, relationships, collaborative efforts that are abundant in the nature of human beings. Time Banking varies the medium of exchange and changes the characteristics and alters the dynamics.
Time banking is a system that let’s people earn time credits for providing services to others in their communities. Examples of services include mowing lawns, babysitting, providing household help or driving someone to a medical appointment. People can then spend their time credits for others services provided by member of the community.
They can turn their time into a ‘currency’ that let’s them meet basic needs that cannot be met through markets.
MONEY DIVERSITY: MONOCULTURE OF MONEY CREATES ECONOMIC INSTABILITY
Bernard Lietaer, PopTech, USA
2011, 23 min 32 sec
Bernard Lietaer argues that the monoculture of money is what creates economic instability, leading to liquidity crises. He calls for a greater diversity of alternative currencies, citing innovative and enormously successful initiatives like the Lithuanian Doraland Economy, the Torekes in Belgium and Switzerland’s famous alternative currency, the WIR.
HAPPINESS IS A PUBLIC GOOD
Tshering Tobgay, Yes, Yes, Economy, CNN, USA
2017, 2 min 17 sec
Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay explains why it’s difficult to measure happiness and why economic growth and happiness are not mutually exclusive. If happiness is a public good, is it the government’s responsibility to create the conditions related to it?
THE CRIMSON PERMANENT ASSURANCE
Monty Python, Terry Gilliam, UK
1983, 16 min 27 sec
The Crimson Permanent Assurance is a 1983 swashbuckling comedy short film that plays as the beginning of the feature-length motion picture Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.
Having originally conceived the story as a six-minute animated sequence in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, intended for placement at the end of Part V, Terry Gilliam convinced the other members of Monty Python to allow him to produce and direct it as a live action piece instead. According to Gilliam, the film’s rhythm, length, and style of cinematography made it a poor fit as a scene in the larger movie, so it was presented as a supplementary short ahead of the film.
It was a common practice in British cinemas to show an unrelated short feature before the main movie, a holdover from the older practice of showing a full-length “B” movie ahead of the main feature. By the mid-1970s the short features were of poorer quality (often Public Information Films), or simply banal travelogues. As a kind of protest, the Pythons had already produced one spoof travelogue narrated by John Cleese, Away from It All, which was shown before Life of Brianin Britain.
THE COMMONS VS. THE MARKETPLACE
David Bollier, Brave New Studios, USA
2009, 3 min 7 sec
Author David Bollier and Martin Kaplan talk about the value created by the marketplace, money, vs. the values created by the commons, a new breed of wealth.
TRADER TELLS TRUTH
2011, 3 min 29 sec
Here’s a new viral video that came from a BBC interview. In an interview on BBC News this morning that left the hosts gobsmacked, Alessio Rastani outlines in a mere three-and-a-half-minutes what we all know and most ignore. This is the famous quote “Governments don’t rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world.” Though some tried to debunk it as a prank, he is in fact a real trader. He was later quoted as saying he thought it was obvious and wasn’t really shocking at all. Apparently most people were stunned by his blatant honesty.
GOOD THINGS AND BAD THINGS ABOUT BITCOINS
Richard Stallman, RT LIVE, Washington, USA
2013, 5 min 5 sec
Online currency Bitcoin has now almost overtaken gold in value. A single bitcoin currently trades for one thousand two hundred dollars – just shy of an ounce of bullion. RT spoke to Dr Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation about the currency. One advantage, he says, is freedom to spend your money any way you like without the approval of the government or the permission of a payment company, which provides us with a freedom we haven’t been able to experience before, even though at this point, we are not able to buy bitcoins in an anonymous way.