Thwarting Leaky Buckets And Other Local Economy Adventures

In the leaky bucket analogy for local economies, money flows into a region to circulate through local businesses like water into a bucket. Water that leaks out is money that escapes the local economy to pay for imports. The more watertight the bucket, the more wealth retained.

Profiles in Community Economics

This past weekend, in over 150 cities on six continents, people joined their fellow citizens on neighborhood walks to discuss the history of their city, observe its current state of affairs, and imagine its future together. In New York City the Municipal Art Society of New York alone listed over two hundred walks throughout the five boroughs.

Communities Need New Economists of Their Own

The transformation to fair and sustainable regional economies requires place-based, citizen-driven tools. The principles behind these tools are universal, but their effective application will be shaped by the landscape, the people, the history, and the culture of each particular region. 

Economics, What's Esthetics Got to Do With It?

In her 1984 book Cities and the Wealth of Nations, the remarkable Jane Jacobs writes not about economics, but about economic life. She observes economies in motion, not in stasis, and argues that city regions are the heart of that economic life – pulsing, changing, and engaging in "exuberant episodes of import-replacing." 

Finding Focus Points for Transition

As proponents of a transition to a new economy we have identified the following focus points for our work:

Creative Enterprise in a New Economy: 34th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures

Judy Wicks was advised by friends to franchise her popular White Dog Café but she rejected the suggestion. The White Dog was shaped by its Philadelphia neighborhood, by Judy's hosting style and tastes, by the regional farmers who supplied the restaurant, by the staff drawn to work there, and by the culture of its customers. It was a business deeply embedded in place. She could not replicate the White Dog, but she could encourage other entrepreneurs to look to the people, streets, and shops of their own community to shape the business of their passion.

War and Peace, Climate Change & Citizen Responses

The pursuit of a new economics has broad implications.  Our Earth is in crisis; our communities are in crisis. At the heart of these twin issues is an economic system that treats land, air, water, and minerals – our common inheritance – as commodities to be bought and sold on the market. An economic system that distributes the income from that inheritance to a relatively few "owners," whose wealth increases disproportionately as a result, leading to social disruption.

Generation Local

A growing number of young people know what must be done to cure our ailing global economy. They are not only protesting a failing system but are also building its replacement. New agrarians are being met by fellow new economists in urban neighborhoods, small towns, and remote villages.  They are coming home—a Generation Local.  You will find them in farm fields, small-batch manufacturing, local marketplaces, recycling ventures, renewable energy coops, farm-to-table restaurants, house concerts, food pantries, and Grange meetings.

Peter Barnes in Great Barrington July 27th

In his new book, With Liberty and Dividends for All: How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don't Pay Enough, Peter Barnes continues the current discussion about wealth inequality.  In his argument that the middle class will be unable to sustain their lifestyle on wages alone, he echoes the analysis of Thomas Piketty in Capital in the Twenty First Century, and more recently of Saskia Sassen in her book Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy.

Addressing Wealth Inequality - Piketty | Barnes | Paine

Thomas Piketty's book Capital in the 21st Century has placed a proverbial line in the sand for all those concerned with inequality of wealth distribution. 

Piketty is an economic historian.  In his book he documents the fact that owners of capital assets – including stocks, bonds, and real estate – have historically realized a financial return higher than wage growth.

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