There is a great paragraph in an article by Aditya Chakrabortty in the Guardian this morning. He says it's time we:
learn one of the hardest lessons of Brexit: the reason the political geography of Britain is so divided is because its economic geography is so unequal. Treasury levers and Bank of England billions are barely any use here. Instead, what’s needed is an attentiveness to place.
This is, of course, what the Green New Deal is all about. If there is one thing that identifies that idea beyond the emphasis on sustainable investment it is the idea of jobs in every constituency that such investment would bring.
Aditya notes how this idea is now being taken further. And I agree with him that it needs to be. If we live in a post globalisation world (and we may be) then the notion of what the local economy means has to change. It is not going to about major employment hubs. Nor is it going to be about the financial flows that excite most economists. The local economy needs to be seen as being about what makes local societies work. And most of what local societies do is serve each other.
So they care for each other.
Teach each other.
Service and repair for each other.
And with luck they make enough to export to pay for what they import, although this is not always possible. But these flows are smaller than you might think: the local ones are almost invariably bigger. Even in tourist resorts that can be true.
Go into amy small market town (I live near plenty) and you will realise that this is the case. Well, that and remittances: these are the inflows commuters bring in.
But until we begin to think about that and work out how the macro economy fits into localities and not how they fit into the global world we will have all our economic thinking wrong as far as most people are concerned.