The aggressive competitive nature of the United States economy has caused poverty for many, while creating hostile crime-driven environments that result in an increased gap between the rich and the poor. The current state of the U. S. economy has caused an outcry of criticisms and alternatives. U. S. citizens jointly agree that the economic system in the U. S. has failed the mass majority of its citizens (Bruner, 2012). Economists agree inequality has grown immensely, but differ sharply over government action (Bruner, 2011). The hardest challenge faced when trying to reform economic structure drastically is that almost everyone has vested interests in the current economy. Most Americans’ outlook on the future has become quite dim in the recent years; people feel isolated and alone, deprived of community and the vital resources necessary to live a fulfilling life (Fleischauer, 2006). The future of the U. S. economy may seem bleak; however, the purpose of this paper is to propose a lighter future. A future filled with an overwhelming sense of individual importance, community support, and sustainable living. This future is achieved through implementing aspects of gift economics into society. Doing what one loves and sharing the result of that labor of love with one’s neighbor is the foundation of which a gift economy is built upon. Implementing a gift economy would be a way to unite and strengthen communities, along with establishing “social mechanisms” of accountability and responsibility.
In today’s world if an individual is entirely financially independent, there is no need for that individual to know their neighbors. That person can go day to day requiring any goods or services they please via money exchange. Also, there is no need for them to care about whomever they interact with to receive their goods and services because there is always going to be someone who will accept their money in exchange for a good or service. Therefore, separation, loneliness, and egocentrism are more commonly found in communities of affluence. Contrarily, poverty stricken neighborhoods tend to display stronger communities with socio-centric attitudes.
The separation between people and resources is resisted by the gift economy. Gift economies are powerful systems for developing behaviors that the market economy cannot—sharing, collaboration, honor, trust, sociability, and loyalty (Ginghina, 2012. p.62). Gift economies can play a significant role in bringing diverse people, ideas and processes into contact with each other in ways that would assure the ability to move quickly enough in constantly changing conditions. Furthermore, today, it is ever-present that people predominantly have a stronger connection with money than they do with their neighbors. The relationships created in a gift economy enables people many times over to give of themselves, and build trust and understanding through shared experiences and...