From a description of the upcoming New Economies Conference in Jackson:
Jackson, Mississippi like most of the metropolitan centers throughout the country needs to broaden its economy to confront the challenge of globalization, address its social ills, and revitalize itself. To address the growing crises of economic collapse, social inequality and environmental degradation, the broadened economy must diversify itself to include various forms of ownership and wealth creation models that fully include the vast majority of the population. The broadened economy must include economic democracy, worker ownership, food sovereignty, new models of home ownership, and sustainable production and distribution.
The New Economies Conference will focus on how the City of Jackson can and will start building the city of the future today through the inclusion of cooperatives and other forms of wealth creation based on the principles of solidarity, participatory democracy, and economic and social equity.
Read more here.
For a profile of Jackson mayor Chokwe Lumumaba, who passed away this week, see here.
Read about the connections Lumumba drew between civil rights and immigrant rights here.
See Democracy Now!’s portrait of Lumamba here.
Sam Bowles and Arjun Jayadev reveal a dubious distinction of the American economy:
Another dubious first for America: We now employ as many private security guards as high school teachers — over one million of them, or nearly double their number in 1980.
And that’s just a small fraction of what we call “guard labor.” In addition to private security guards, that means police officers, members of the armed forces, prison and court officials, civilian employees of the military, and those producing weapons: a total of 5.2 million workers in 2011. That is a far larger number than we have of teachers at all levels.
Read more here.
Econ4′s Gar Alperovitz on building the new economy from the bottom up:
Deepening economic and social pain are producing the kinds of conditions from which various new forms of democratization—of ownership, wealth and institutions—are beginning to emerge. The challenge is to develop a broad strategy that not only ends the downward spiral but also gives rise to something different: steadily changing who actually owns the system, beginning at the bottom and working up.
Read more here.
Resources for democratic, community-based economic development from the Democracy Collaborative:
Here’s the trailer for the new film “Inequality of All,” featuring Robert Reich:
Read more about the film and the facts behind it here.
Econ4′s James Boyce on how to translate good principles into good practice:
From a wide-ranging interview with Noam Chomsky:
[O]ne of the main problems for students today — a huge problem — is sky-rocketing tuitions. Why do we have tuitions that are completely out-of-line with other countries, even with our own history? In the 1950s the United States was a much poorer country than it is today, and yet higher education was … pretty much free, or low fees or no fees for huge numbers of people. There hasn’t been an economic change that’s made it necessary, now, to have very high tuitions, far more than when we were a poor country.
Read Chomsky’s breakdown of the rich-country-indebted-student paradox here.
Advance praise for What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution (Chelsea Green, April 2013), by Econ4′s Gar Alperovitz:
“Gar Alperovitz’s new book is so plain-spoken and accessible that it takes a moment to appreciate the magnitude of his accomplishment. After examining new patterns of positive change emerging in America today—including many undernoticed changes that involve democratizing the ownership of wealth—he develops a brilliant strategy for the type of transformative change that can lead America from decline to rebirth. In giving a sense of strategic direction and honest possibility to the call for a new economy, Alperovitz has made an enormous contribution exactly where it is most needed.”
—James Gustave Speth, author of America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy
“In this important new book, Gar Alperovitz is telling us there’s something happening here in corporate-driven America, be it social enterprise, community land trusts, worker-owned businesses, or employee stock ownership plans. We all know that the free-market economic system no longer works for the vast majority of citizens and Alperovitz is showing us that there is a better, equally American way, to spread the wealth and put more people to work, while making the nation a safer and healthier place to live. This is not an utopian fantasy or a call for social engineering, but a plain-spoken and easy-to-absorb analysis by one of our leading economists of what’s gone wrong and how to make it better.”
—Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker
Katrina van den Heuvel writes in The Washington Post:
True conservatives are — or should be — offended by corporate welfare as well. Conservative economists Raghuram Rajan and Luigi Zingales argue that it is time to “save capitalism from the capitalists,” urging conservatives to support strong measures to break up monopolies, cartels and the predatory use of political power to distort competition.
Here is where left and right meet, not in a bipartisan big-money fix, but in an odd bedfellows campaign to clean out Washington.
Read her piece here.
John Cavanagh and Robin Broad write on the new economy movement:
If the Occupy movement popularized the call to end extreme inequality, Hurricane Sandy is popularizing the call to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure in a green and resilient manner. Weaving these themes together can make for a gripping narrative.
Read more here.