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"What I can't understand is, why aren't people rioting in the streets?" I hear this, now and then, from people of wealthy and powerful backgrounds. There is a kind of incredulity. "After all," the subtext seems to read, "we scream bloody murder when anyone so much as...
Self-organized commons are undergoing a renaissance today as one of the most robust alternatives to modern-day capitalism. Mention the commons and most people conjure up the image of a bucolic English pasture. The commons were the fields and forests where medieval commoners...
Like a few other cities, the city is letting some citizens vote directly on how the city spends its money. But, of course, it's adding an online twist.   The heart of Silicon Valley is experimenting with a novel form of direct democracy that gives citizens direct control...
Almost everywhere we look, there is an emerging debate on the importance of sharing in relation to the grave challenges of our time. This conversation is most apparent in the sharing economy movement that has now taken the United States and Western Europe by storm, opening up...
Shared ownership helps to diversify rather than concentrate wealth and roots the value it generates in communities. Inequality has become an embarrassing social reality for more and more global citizens – a reality that we seem very far away from solving. One particular...
A quiet revolution is rumbling through New York's municipal offices as they retool to support the creation of worker cooperatives as a way to fight poverty. Spurred by the powerful example of immigrant-owned cleaning cooperatives and the longstanding example of Cooperative...
As history has shown, France is capable of the best and the worst, and often in short periods of time. On the day following Marine Le Pen's Front National victory in the European elections, however, France made a decisive contribution to the reinvention of a radical...
During the 15 years, I lived and worked in Asia as a development professional from 1978 to 1992, I witness a troubling paradox. GDP was growing, incomes were rising, there was an expanding middle class, and a few people were getting fabulously rich. Development seemed to be...
Back in in the day, an activist colleague of mine liked to wisecrack that whenever corporations talked about environmental solutions everyone could live with, what they meant were "solutions" only a politically acceptable number of people would die from. That is so 1980s...
Modern America has a strong generational divide.  Whether it’s cultural or political, there are a wide-range of topics that can be off limits when talking to “the grandparents.”  On the reverse side, it can be hard to listen to the “wisdom” of a generation that’s had such a...
The peoples of earlier times prospered from the guidance of simple stories that offered answers to their deepest questions. We need those now more than ever. For people, generally, their story of the universe and the human role in the universe is their primary source of...
This is a 'testament to how working people can push back against the status quo of poverty, inequality, and injustice'   'We made this progress possible... but it is neither strong enough nor fast enough.'  That's the summarized reaction by progressive activists in Seattle...
Half of all Canadians want it. The Swiss have had a referendum on it. The idea's not as far-fetched as it sounds What if you could receive a guaranteed basic yearly income with no strings attached? Didn’t matter how much money you made now, or in the future. Nobody would ask...
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, "It's really American to avoid paying taxes, legally...It's a game we play...I see nothing wrong with playing the game because we set it up to be a game." It's not a game for Americans who need jobs and education and public transportation...
First, the bad news: Even if the economy improves, middle-class career paths will continue to disappear as globalization and technological innovation render more jobs obsolete. Now, the good news: The fear, stress and humiliation caused by unemployment (and underemployment)...
Tax day, April 15th, is a day of celebration in the United States. On this day we citizens of the great republic take pride in the fact that we can come together in a democratic society and make decisions cooperatively with one another. The fruits of our labor, beholden to...
Among the big energy stories of 2013, “peak oil” -- the once-popular notion that worldwide oil production would soon reach a maximum level and begin an irreversible decline -- was thoroughly discredited.  The explosive development of shale oil and other unconventional fuels...
The Universal Basic Income (UBI) – sometimes called the Unconditional Basic Income, Citizens’ Income or Social Wage – has in recent times become a focus of economic discussion across the political spectrum. While column inches in the Financial Times and The Economist have...
Ever since we started writing and speaking about our current book project, How on Earth: Flourishing in a Not-for-Profit World by 2050, we have been amazed by one phenomenon in particular. When we have a chance to explain to people what not-for-profit (NFP) enterprise...
The unions, especially the SEIU, are backing this campaign for $15 wages. Some worry the workers are being used like pawns   The sight one year ago of scores of fast-food workers walking off their jobs and marching through the streets of New York City demanding $15 an hour...
“Do what you love. Love what you do.” The command is framed and perched in a living room that can only be described as “well-curated.” A picture of this room appeared first on a popular design blog and has been pinned, tumbl’d, and liked thousands of times. Though it...
ALONIA, Greece — The feisty owner of a small family business that makes detergents has never had time for anticapitalist firebrands. So he was suspicious and skeptical when he was approached by left-leaning activists campaigning to purge “profiteers” from the market. But...
NEW YORK — The co-founder of one the nation’s oldest venture capital firms fears a possible genocide against the wealthy. Residents of Manhattan’s tony Upper East Side say the progressive mayor didn’t plow their streets as a form of frosty revenge. And the co-founder of Home...
There's a lot of talk of Karl Marx in the air these days – from Rush Limbaugh accusing Pope Francis of promoting "pure Marxism" to a Washington Times writer claiming that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is an "unrepentant Marxist."   But few people actually understand...
When banks are allowed to create a nation’s money supply, we all end up paying higher taxes. This is because the profits from creating new money go to the banks rather than the taxpayer, and because taxpayers end up paying the cost of financial crises, which are caused by the...
Good ole’ Costco made national news again during this year’s State of the Union. Why? Because Costco is a corporate empire that pays livable wages. Unfortunately, this type of business model is treated as if it’s an endangered species, even more so within the restaurant...
Considerations such as 'what do you really care about' and 'who do you serve' should be drivers of sustainability, not profit. Wouldn't it be nice if the best business decision were aligned with the best ecological decision? Some people say that often it already is, and that...
The results are in: No amount of "green capitalism" will be able to ensure the profound changes we must urgently make to prevent the collapse of civilization from the catastrophic impacts of global warming. The following is an updated version of an article that originally...
Deciding to Offer Web Design in a Gift Economy Changed My Life. Here’s How.   Last weekend, someone who is very important to me wrote something kind about me on Facebook, and since then many people have tried to get in touch with me. Like, a lot of people. From...
London, May 2009.  A small experiment involving thirteen homeless men takes off. They are street veterans. Some of them have been sleeping on the cold tiles of The Square Mile, the financial center of the world, for more than forty years. Their presence is far from...
Nurses, philosophers, and trade unions have over the past 12 months all shared some fascinating ideas on how we can make our societies more equal — and much better — places to live. Economic inequality, we suspect, may have crept into more conversations in 2013 than ever...
Tax-avoiding, consumer-exploiting big business leaders are largely responsible for these abuses. Congress just lets it happen. Corporate heads and members of Congress seem incapable of relating to the people that are being victimized, and the mainstream media seems to have...
Low wage fast food employees across the country are joining forces Thursday, taking to the streets to say: "Low pay is not okay." The action marks the largest planned demonstration yet in a movement that has swelled over the past year, with workers uniting around the call...
In one of comedian Chris Rock's routines, he observes: "You know what that means when someone pays you a minimum wage? You know what your boss is trying to say? 'Hey, if I could pay you less, I would, but it’s against the law.'" The humor works because, like the boy who...
In Costa Rica, publicly-owned banks have been available for so long and work so well that people take for granted that any country that knows how to run an economy has a public banking option. Costa Ricans are amazed to hear there is only one public depository bank in the...
An overriding concern of many people participating in protests since 2010 has been the financial system. From the September 17, 2011 protests against financial institutions and the symbolism of Occupy Wall Street to the widespread discussion of alternative currencies, money...
An obsession with growth has eclipsed our concern for sustainability, justice and human dignity. But people are not disposable – the value of life lies outside economic development Limitless growth is the fantasy of economists, businesses and politicians. It is seen as a...
A strange thing happened during the October 2013 battle in the US Congress over a government shutdown and threat of default. The Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, denounced the Republicans as “anarchists.” So did Elizabeth Warren, one of the most liberal Senators. As did...
“The rich are different from us,” F. Scott Fitzgerald is said to have remarked to Ernest Hemingway, to which Hemingway allegedly replied, “Yes, they have more money.” The exchange, although it never actually took place, sums up a wisdom Fitzgerald had that eluded...
The Bible and Nobel Prize Winning Economists Agree: “When The Sentence For A Crime Is Not Quickly Carried Out, People’s Hearts Are Filled With Schemes To Do Wrong” Preface: If you are an atheist and believe that religion is crazy, please remember that some 85% of the...
Conservative columnist Thomas Sowell recently declared, "The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty." Ironically for thinkers like him, the last 35 years have redistributed U.S...
The Post Carbon Institute released a new report today, Climate After Growth: Why Environmentalists Must Embrace Post-Growth Economics & Community Resilience. The report calls on environmental organizations and p
From gated communities in outer space to graphs about who owns the wealth, two new films are giving Americans a window into the issue of income inequality Two cinematic experiences about extreme wealth inequality are worth seeing, one dramatic and the other documentary.
$6,000. That's over and above our payments to the big companies for energy and food and housing and health care and all our tech devices. It's $6,000 that no family would have to pay if we truly lived in a competitive but well-regulated free-market economy.
TED is a powerful and paradigm shattering initiative that brands itself with the slogan “Ideas worth spreading.” At this point, we have probably all heard of TED and the short talks given by inspiring people from all around the world to audiences at different conferences...
Ever had the feeling that your job might be made up? That the world would keep on turning if you weren’t doing that thing you do 9-5? David Graeber explored the phenomenon of bullshit jobs for Strike Magazine's summer issue – everyone who’s employed should read...
Preface: Not all banks are criminal enterprises. The wrongdoing of a particular bank cannot be attributed to other banks without proof. But – as documented below – many of the biggest banks have engaged in unimaginably bad behavior. You Won’t Believe What They’ve Done...
Building A Solidarity Economy Under the cooperative model, workers own the business, reducing injustice because they have a stake in the community and because an individual will find it hard to exploit oneself. Workers often buy into their jobs (upfront or amortized)...
In his important 2006 book, Nemesis, the Last Days of the American Republic, the third and concluding part of a trilogy, the late Chalmers Johnson, who was an expert on Japan and US foreign policy, writes that as much as 40% of the Pentagon budget is “black,” meaning hidden...