GlennBeck.com Exclusive: The Power of Local

Regional self-reliance is more than just farmers markets—it’s the cornerstone of democracy

By Daniel Suarez

The American middle class is shrinking. You might already be feeling the pressure. According to a 2007 study by the Pew Charitable Trust, men in their 30’s now earn 12% less, adjusted for inflation, than men of the same age did in 1974. That’s a median annual salary of $35,010 today versus the equivalent of $40,210 thirty-five years ago. And that study was published before the current recession put more downward pressure on wages.

Generation Y will most likely have it even worse. MIT Economics Professor David H. Autor's recent study finds that if long-term job market trends continue, the person asking "Do you want fries with that?" is increasingly likely to have a college education. And young people are taking on unprecedented levels of debt to get those college degrees—often graduating with $100,000 or more in student loans.

Why is this happening? Americans everywhere are working harder, longer, and faster just to maintain their current situation. Yet, for many, it’s still not enough. More important, widespread public outrage about jobs and the economy seems to have little or no effect on either government policy or corporate behavior.

There’s a growing disconnect between average people and their government – regardless of your political persuasion. Even if super-majorities of citizens want something to happen, that doesn’t mean their government will respond. Why? Where has our collective political power gone?

Economic Sovereignty

The answer is right in front of you whenever you make a purchase. Most of the products and financial services you consume are produced far away from where you live. If it’s a physical product, it was most likely produced in Asia. If it’s a financial product, it was probably produced on Wall Street. By contrast, what does your city or county produce?

Unsure?  You’re not alone.

Even if you do know what your region makes, it’s most likely over-specialized. The net result is loss of regional independence. For example the farm state of Iowa imports 70% of its food due to specialization in hybrids of corn and soybeans that are not directly edible to humans. They instead require industrial processing to break them down into fractional molecules, which in turn become additives for value-added processed foods—some of which actually make it back to Iowa supermarket shelves. And yet, even though American farmers are more productive than ever, the corporate entities below and above them in the supply chain have profited far more from the green revolution. That’s because farmers have little leverage with their primary customer—big agribusiness.

The fact is that any non-symbiotic relationship is bound to have an imbalance of power. Put more plainly: you need multi-national corporations more than they need you. In the context of democracy, that means the public doesn’t really have as much political authority as they think. The pervasive influence of lobbyists in Washington demonstrates this point.

Left or right, money is critical to getting elected in America.  In the year 2000, candidates who raised the most money won 93 percent of the seats up for election in Congress. (USPIRG Report 1/3/01). This is why politicians respond to those who can bring a steady flow of campaign contributions. Who brings that money? Almost certainly it’s not you. According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the U.S. population gave 83 percent of all itemized campaign contributions for the 2002 elections. So if you’re angry at the government because you feel it’s not responsive to the American people, now you know why: money is what wins elections, and lobbyists—not average Americans—bring a steady flow of money.

But what if all that money didn’t flow into distant corporate coffers but instead stayed right in your region? The balance of power would be turned upside down.

Regional self-reliance is more than a 'buy local' movement -- it's the cornerstone of democracy.  In fact, it always has been. When Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations in 1776, he was describing an economic system not of multi-national corporations, but of individuals who would act in their own self-interest—human beings invested in their community.  If your region wants self-determination, they need to be able to say 'no' to distant power brokers, and you can’t do that if you produce none of the products and services that support life.

Regional self-reliance is economic freedom – and there can be no freedom without it.  Citizens can protest from now until doomsday, but unless they can supply their own critical needs (food, shelter, etc.) from within their region, then they will be forever reliant on distant masters—and ignored when it comes to national policy.

To have a real say in our governance (and to make our civilization durable), we need regional self-reliance, not global hegemonies. Regional self-reliance is ultimately better for everyone – including the corporations – because diverse regional strategies make it less likely that the entire nation will fall prey to the bad decisions of a few (a certain Wall Street bank comes to mind here) and thus wreck the national economy on which all commerce depends.

Protesting and getting angry won't bring control back to your life, but helping to redevelop local economies around critical industries will give you control of your life again. Living locally is not just good for the environment—it’s good for the nation.

Daniel Suarez is an independent systems analyst and the bestselling author of the cyber-thrillers, ‘Daemon’ and ‘Freedom™.’

 

America has always been the land of the free. But as the line fades between the socialist, woke Left, and the Democratic Party that controls our government, are we diving headfirst into Marxism?

On his BlazeTV exclusive show, Glenn Beck spoke with Li Schoolland, who grew up under Mao's cultural revolution in China, and never did she think she would see the same warning signs in America. But now, she has a horrifying warning for us all.

Watch the video clip below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Earlier this year, Coca-Cola became the poster child for how a corporation could shove leftist ideologies onto its consumers. The company suspended advertising on Facebook in a push to censor former President Donald Trump, published a manifesto about racial equity, and demanded all legal teams working for Coke meet certain diversity quotas.

But now, after Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and many other conservative voices called for a boycott of the company's products, Coca-Cola appears to be shifting directions.

The Washington Examiner reported that the company issued a conciliatory statement after conspicuously failing to appear on a published list of hundreds of corporations and individuals that signed a statement denouncing the Georgia voting bill.

"We believe the best way to make progress now is for everyone to come together and listen respectfully, share concerns, and collaborate on a path forward. We remained open and productive conversations with advocacy groups and lawmakers who may have differing views," the company said. "It's time to find common ground. In the end, we all want the same thing – free and fair elections, the cornerstone of our democracy."

Then last week, Coca-Cola Co.'s new general counsel, Monica Howard Douglas, told members of the company's global legal team that the diversity initiative announced by her predecessor, Bradley Gayton, is "taking a pause for now." Gayton resigned unexpectedly from the position on April 21, after only eight months on the job, to serve as a strategic consultant to Chairman and CEO James Quincey.

"Why is Coca-Cola 'taking a pause' on all of these? Because you have been standing up," Glenn Beck said on the radio program Monday. "You and others have been standing up. Your voice, it's the power of one. Your voice makes a difference."

Watch the video below to hear more form Glenn:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

This week on "The Glenn Beck Podcast," civil rights activist and Woodson Center founder Bob Woodson joined Glenn to call out the leftists in the "race grievance industry," like the Rev. Al Sharpton and Black Lives Matter, Inc., who, he says, are "profiting off the misery of their people."

Woodson lived through the appalling segregation laws of the last century and has a much different message about what it means to be "oppressed" than the so-called "anti-racist" activists today.

Woodson said he believes the real struggle for impoverished minority communities "is not racial." He argued that leftists "at the top" derive "moral authority" by claiming to represent "so called marginalized groups," while they prosper at the expense of those "at the bottom."

"There's nothing worse than self-flagellating guilty white people and rich, angry black people who profit off the misery of their people," Woodson said.

"I call what Sharpton and some of those are doing is worse than bigotry. It's treason. It's moral treason against their own people," he added. "The only time you hear from them is when a white police officer kills a black person, which happens maybe 20 or 21 times a year, but 6,000 blacks are killed each year by other blacks. So, in other words, their message is black lives only matter when taken by someone white, which means you are betraying the black community when you turn your back on 20 children that are slaughtered and you don't march in that community and demand that those killers be turned over to the police."

'The problem is not racial," Woodson asserted. "The problem is the challenge of upward mobility. Any time you generalize about a group of people, blacks, whites, Native American, and then you try to apply remedies, it always benefits those at the top at the expense of those at the bottom. ... It's a bait and switch game where you're using the demographics of the worst of these, to get resources that helps the best of these, or those who are prospering at the top. So, if I was the president, I would say an end to the race grievance business, that America should concentrate on the moral and spiritual free fall that is consuming people at the bottom."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation, or enjoy the full podcast here or wherever you listen to podcasts:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Following President Joe Biden's first joint address to Congress, Glenn Beck joined fellow BlazeTV host and author of the new book, "American Marxism," Mark Levin to expose what they called the "Liar-In-Chief's" radical plans for our country and to explain why the far Left's proposals and programs are really a "frontal attack" on our Constitution, our country, and our way of life.

"Substantively, this is a frontal attack on our Constitutional system of limited government. It is a frontal attack on our capitalist system. He's basically throwing out all the bromides for the radical left groups that now form the base of the modern Democrat Party. And I make the case that ... this is Marxist bullcrap in its broadest sense," Levin stated.

"Here we are, a country now where one man can get up in the middle of the night and make a list of everything he wants to do to the country," he added, speaking figuratively. "It's like an unreality where we're living in separate worlds ... the whole thing is a fraud."

Watch the video clip below to hear Levin expose the lies and misinformation in Biden's speech and explain why he believes the true message is absolutely chilling for the future of our nation:

Want more from Mark Levin?

To enjoy more of "the Great One" — Mark Levin as you've never seen him before — subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.