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Town Crier and Visionary – Andrew Welch releases new book

February 24, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Andrew Welch is a multi-talented man. A graduate of math and computer sciences from the University of Waterloo in 1984, he went on to do many things. For the last few years, his focus has been on his career as an author. While his first book, The Value Crisis, is not a fiction it has received the kind of attention mainly given to fiction.

Said Mr. Welch in a telephone interview with the Citizen, “Math and computer science are objective and explain everything. One of the reasons this realization came so powerfully was I realized that my life was not based on those things and a lot of things were based on the weird things [that] did not align with them.”

His objective was to share ideas, to offer them in story form. The Value Crisis is “almost the story of my life, based on the epiphanies in my life. [When it came out] it amazed me because it was so popular in Book Clubs.”

Responding to that interest, Mr. Welch is most willing to talk to book clubs and indeed, other gatherings to explain and discuss the contents of The Value Crisis and now his sequel second book, Our Second Chance: Changing Course and Solving the Value Crisis. 

This is his proposal: these are the greatest challenges we face. The climate crisis can be traced back to how we see success: by wealth or by beauty, health, justice? Once we understand that difference, what do we do about it? 

“The book is really an excuse to get me in front of groups to talk about it,” he said.

Much of what is in Our Second Chance came from the feedback during the discussions about The Value Crisis.

He told us, “My choice is to be a facilitator of these discussions. I do it in a way that shares the stories. A lot of the second book is about what people shared. I was prepared gather the best ideas and put them in a way of framing them to make the best of this,” Mr. Welch continued. “What can we do right now as a community or society is suggested on the website:

“We all wrestle with this conflict between what we need and the cost of that.”

His intention is to get these ideas out there to thrive on their own. People need to have these discussions. He wants to get in front of people and talk to them.

He urged, “There are really good ideas that have been tried and we just have to start thinking about things in another way.”

Our Second Chance was actually finished in March of 2020, in the new intensity of Covid-19. He passed it to the editor and she said they had to redo it.

His comment, “So much of what was happening was proving what I was saying. The second book had pandemic [possibilities]. This was our opportunity. This could be our second chance.”

It is just a question of not letting the old views run things; he divides people into three basic categories as the consumer, the investor and the citizen. The consumer wants variety of goods at best prices; the investor wants the price of goods to rise without a ceiling; the citizen cares for the wellbeing of the community and the environment.

Maybe this sounds easier than reality admits but here is the recipe: “We have to look after others and share. These are always in conflict and we have to live them in the mix.”

Especially highlighted during the pandemic is the exponential grow of corporations. Corporations are possessed of unlimited life spans and uncontrolled growth with no concept of sufficiency: no limit to their wealth increases. 

If greed is defined as going beyond sufficiency, there is no such thing as “Amazon is big enough.” Corporations are without morals.

Here is Mr. Welch’s key message: “To make it really clear, what can we do right now, none of them can be sacrifices because there are other ways to see this. You are actually better to invest in your relationships; you could lose your bank account. The big challenge was to approach businessmen: a business can find other ways by emphasizing different values.”

When Covid-19 brought lockdown, town criers hung up their gear but he put it out there that he would “proclaim” curbside. It was very busy for him. There was no charge but people still gave him a bottle of wine or some cash. 

“A lady’s father who was having his 80th birthday asked me. He couldn’t come out. So, she brought him on the balcony,” he related. ”My proclamation reverberated off the walls and lots of people were on their balconies. Even if you don’t make huge money, you’re doing some good. When he died, she called and said he talked a lot about the proclamation.”

The farmers’ market is where people get the kind of value Andrew Welch is talking about. We might save money in a supermarket but the farmers’ market provides better quality products and we have conversations, meet friends.

These are the values that are important to us, if we look at life from that point of view. One of the things that everyone appreciates is quality; if we shop locally the quality goes up because the shopkeeper has to look at us when he sells. If his quality is poor, we can come back to him.

“The pandemic has made huge strides forward for Walmart and Amazon,” he pointed out. “People have gained a whole new perception of this. Covid has poured new awareness and we can now see how that type of shopping has harmed local shops.”

His book, Our Second Chance promotes that basic income is now a mainstream issue because of how basic income works and why it could work. This is an approach that appeals to all sides.

Mr. Welch is sure that the present is unsustainable and asks how do we plan for when this goes down? After the pandemic, people are asking themselves what are we doing? How do we make this happy?

He reckons, “People are getting the idea that this living online and shopping through Amazon is not giving them happiness.”

At the moment, he admits our personal change might be baby steps and he notes there is a spectrum; not just question of farmers markets or Amazon for “it’s not black or white – there are plenty of shades of grey… Genuine human values are love, beauty, justice.”

The time now is also for huge steps and the opportunities are there if we have political and public will. They all talk but changes are needed and now.

He offered, “Real wealth is actual food and tools. On a desert island if all you had was money you would die. Visions need open discussion. I’ve been giving the books in order to keep the conversations going.”

For details, here is the website:

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