Local economy — boys roughhousing

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It occurred to me that I haven’t attempted to characterize local economy as either a male or a female phenomenon.

One could say it is feminine because it is relational, as women are. It is about personal commitments, friendships near and far.

On the  other hand, the idea of local economy seems like a masculine one. Let me suggest how its masculine traits are endearing. Boys have a difficult time in modern factory schools because of personal traits that reflect well into local economy. Christina Hoff Summers, author of The War Against Boys, says that school suppresses boys and emasculates them; it denies masculine morays that are their real virtue.

The virtue is one she calls a “distinctive and assertive sociability.” It is a form of play among boys that lets boys be heroic, to save the day, rescue the friend, defy the enemy, slash and burn villains, destroy rivals, rescue the girl. Researchers “found that ‘bad guy’ play improved children’s conversation and imaginative writing,” Mrs. Sommers writes on Time’s website. Boys defy established convention, which explains why zero-tolerance rules in the past decade have worked to quash the male line of thinking and acting. Teachers are constantly having to tamp down boys’ dramatic play “daily or several times a week — whereas less than a third reported stopping or redirecting girls dramatic play weekly.”

Schools punish boys for aiming finger pistols at each other, reeling over in death as imaginary grenades explode or running across the grass, their ray guns wreak havoc on enemy forces.

As among boys at school, local economy is bustling, masculine and intense and does not appreciate supervision by national economy.

➤ When Hamilton funeral home in Hixson opened two years ago, the owners were approached by as many as a dozen people seeking to invest in the business, according to Josh Jennings, one of the owners.  Local capital is feisty, seeking an productive outlet. If more capital is repatriated to Chattanooga, more will be available for such local economy adventures.

➤  David Hunter moved to Chattanooga a year ago to run a Web design and development outfit, Nooga Labs. His company follows a local economy concept even better than the one I had proposed in 2012 to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, which proposed the paper build a cheap website for every last mom and pop. Mr. Hunter  builds websites for small businesses in WordPress for free in exchange for being able to handle credit card transactions. Mr. Hunter also has launched a website which, for lack of a better word, we’ll call a local economy mall. It is will become a digital marketplace for locally owned and operated businesses such as Hamilton funeral home. Mr. Hunter explains his program in an interview.

➤ How to find a local attorney? Fil Manley has spent weeks creating a database of every local attorney. He is angling for some of the turf controlled by Findlaw and other lawyer website providers, confident he can offer more and charge less. The Chattanooga directory coming at chattanoogaattorneyfinder.com will be comprehensive and let Mr. Manley make a living. He has been struggling financially amid a battle with a bank in a well publicized foreclosure case. Mr. Manley tells me about his business in an interview.

The idea of marketplace service has something vigorous about schoolyard play. These men aren’t twiddling over wireless phones nor do they have their eyes glued to the screen during recess. They’re having fun with their pals, using their fingers as pistols, making explosion sounds and watching the enemy fall in rows.

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