This is an awsome topic. I am planning on going to The Financial Permaculture Conference either this year or next. They are applying permaculture to economics, no waste and keep it cyclical. http://www.financialpermaculture.com/cms/
The area I am starting my farm in has been an agricultural area since it was colonized. It was the tobacco hub of the world. It has also been economically depressed for over 30 years. It is not a place you want move to and try and make a living. Jobs are scarce here.
I believe it is perfect place for a sustainable economic revolution.
Keep the money in the community. Of course this does not involve Walmart. I think the economic downturn will help small farms everywhere. As oil prices increase, more people will have to produce food, so it does not have to travel as far to get to our table. When the world decides not to use the dollar as the reserve currency and our debt is weighed in on the value of our currency(Which it is not now), locally grown food, which now seems expensive, will be able to compete with walmart and food lion. Permaculture will make sense to the masses then.
Now is the time to establish permaculture farms so that when our dept comes home to roost, we will be ready to feed the people, have solutions in place and have relationships and trust within our communities.
I always enjoy explaining why I have moved to this area. I am proud to say "I am here to grow food and watch my daughter grow up."
I will definitely be back to this discussion.