Visual Economy

Another useless receipt for a cup of coffee, manicured middle-aged men in three-piece suits, and green wallet-sized pictures of former presidents — these all, unfortunately, come to mind when I think “economy.”  But the economy isn’t any one image.  In fact, it isn’t necessarily an image at all.  It’s a belief.

The economy is a belief in a system — a system that ultimately depends on our societal consent for it to exist at all.  I have to believe that if I have enough of these wrinkled pictures of presidents — or queens, or national birds — that they are worth a cup of coffee or a two bedroom flat.  Or, on a slightly larger scale, a country’s national identity and reputation.

So we “believe” it into existence, but who keeps the economy alive?

This gentleman working in a field struck me.  He looks well beyond the age that he should be performing such demanding physical labor.  Yet in 2012, and less than two hours from London — a capital of world economy — here he is, bent achingly over his shovel — a sobering image of a life source for the British economy.    GJM IV 

Image and content © GJM IV 2012