In a conversation I held amongst a group of co-workers at one time, I made the statement that essentially there was a cap to my actual need for an increase in salary and that I would care to make this amount and not any more. This statement may have been a bit wrongheaded in the context that I now speak since the conversation stands as to how much wealth is actually held by our community and if we are not individually generating our own forms of economic currency in the community, how else would we be able to get economic value in without pulling it from without? I still stand by the intent of my original statement.
What is the source of the so-called economic crisis? How is it that monetary value can be said by economists to have “evaporated” into thin air? When a single party begins to hold a disproportionate amount of wealth whether gained by good means or ill gotten, it creates a liability to entire economy of a community since at any time that individual could destroy the currency which holds the economic value and through scarcity make everything in the community more expensive.
Ujamaa states that whatever action I perform in my personal economy should in some way stand to be of benefit to the greater community. Cooperative Economics should not stop at the simple “buy black” rhetoric. This is an oversimplification of the principle. What are our vendors selling to us and how does it add to the economic, moral, or cultural value of our community? In this way, we take a holistic view of the economy of the community. If unhealthy products are sold to us and destroy our physical value, that is not Ujamaa and we should not cooperate or corroborate our own destruction simply because the person taking the bills has a face like our own. – tekhen djehuti
COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS (UJAMAA) – Knowledge: The willingness and ability to work with others in order to produce, distribute, and consume our own goods and services for the mutual benefit and progress of the collective. Wisdom: To build and maintain our own shops, stores, and businesses in order to profit from them together. Understanding: In the teachings of Ptahhotep, it is said "Be generous as long as you live. What leaves the storehouse does not return. It is the food in the storehouse that one must share that is coveted. One whose belly is empty becomes an accuser. One who is deprived becomes an opponent. Therefore, do not have an accuser or an opponent as a neighbor. Your kindness to your neighbors will be a memorial to you for years, after you satisfy your needs." The collective has a responsibility to support those establishments, which benefit the whole and counteract those which do not. By the same token, businesses have an obligation to the communities they serve because it is their support, which continues to keep the businesses thriving. Wealth ceases to be beneficial the moment it ceases to serve the people and begins to be served by the people.