|Re: Governance & Income Inequality||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Eris Weaver (eriserisweaver.info)|
|Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2015 13:59:06 -0800 (PST)|
Sharon Villines wrote: > I was once a part of a group that started a parent cooperative school. The philosophy > was that all parents should pay but only pay what they could afford to pay. Never > again. People have incredibly different ideas of what they can afford to pay. I would > only do such a thing with objective standards against which everyone was measured. > No standards can ever be perfect but they more equitable when it comes to money > than self-determined standards. > > Eris has done a nice small book on talking about money. I recommend it and her. > > www.erisweaver.info > > Money is a central issue in cohousing because it has to be coped with one way or > the other. Someone has to do the building for owners or for renters. Someone has to > pay the bills. How people feel about it varies widely. You need to know how your > groups feels and what their expectations are. Thanks for the shout-out, Sharon, I had a bump in book sales today! I second your concerns about just letting people pay "what they can afford." What does "afford" mean? If we're all chipping in to buy something and I pay less, somebody ELSE has to pay more. If I make less money because I've made the life choice to work part-time or in a nonprofit or a lower-paying profession, why should someone who made different life choices -- working 60 hours a week in a high-pressure job, for example -- pay a higher share than me? If you've chosen to be childless, why should you subsidize my third kid? True, some of the factors contributing to our relative wealth are outside of our direct control or choice -- the social class in which we were raised, money we inherit, the death or departure of a spouse, the career implications of racism/sexism/etc. -- but whatever amount of money we have, we make choices about how we spend it - what we "afford." To most of us, "affordable" means "what I'm willing to pay." The more diverse your group is -- on ANY vector, not just income -- the more challenging consensus will be. Things cost what they cost; I think someone else talked about the gap between the things we WANT to include in our projects and what we're willing to PAY for them. One of the most heart-wrenching gigs I did was with a now-defunct group that had been in deep denial about their true inability to afford new construction. Build an environmentally sustainable, beautiful, large, low-density project in CALIFORNIA for $150K per unit? Not in this century. Personally, I think too many of us try to somehow fix all the problems of the world in our little cohousing microcosm. Can we do a lot of things better than in the mainstream? You bet. Can we fix homelessness, economic inequality, all the isms, violence, global warming, etc. all in one cohousing community? Nope. ------------------------------ Eris Weaver, Graphic Facilitator & Group Process Consultant eris [at] erisweaver.info • 707-338-8589 • http://www.erisweaver.info “On days when you have no ideas at all, the best thing you can do is start doodling.” Charles M. Schulz fa cil i tāt: to make easier
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