Cramond Island isn’t entirely an island when the tide rolls out each day, allowing you to walk the causeway from the mainland. But as the tide rolls back in, the island is cut off once again—and it’s fairly common for people to turn around and find themselves stranded, if they aren’t watching the time.
Walking the perimeter along the shoreline, I crossed this pair of kayakers. I asked, “You gentlemen mind if I get a photo of you enjoying your lunch?”
“Only if you think you’ll want to look at it later,” the neon-green beanied fellow laughs.
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