Fostering resilient communities and building wealth in today’s local economies is necessary to achieve individual, regional, and national economic security. A community wealth building strategy employs a range of forms of community ownership and asset building strategies to build wealth in low-income communities. In so doing, community wealth building bolsters the ability of communities and individuals to increase asset ownership, anchor jobs locally, expand the provision of public services, and ensure local economic stability.
This article originally appeared in the September 4, 2014 edition of the Los Angeles Times.
The concept of "secular stagnation" — that the economy may be facing a protracted period of low growth and high unemployment — has been seeping back into economic and policy discourse. Once relegated to the margins of heterodox economic theory, the idea of stagnation as a likely ongoing direction for the economy, in fact, is now virtually mainstream, expounded by such well-known figures as Lawrence Summers and Paul Krugman.
Stagnation, however, is not a new problem. Careful examination of the U.S. economy over the last century suggests that stagnation may not be the exception but just possibly the rule of modern economic performance — a rule that was mainly broken only by the stimulus effects of massive military expenditures at three crucial junctures....
In the "End of Poverty" issue of Yes! Magazine, Dean Paton explores the policy choices that have led to record inequality and growing poverty, and examines proposals by Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz, who "not only lays out an array of alternatives already keeping people from poverty, but solutions we also can build upon to create strategies that, over time, might replace corporate capitalism."
The problem is simple, surprising, and quite honestly disgusting: Our nation’s older cities depend largely on sewage treatment systems that overflow when it rains, dumping 860 billion gallons of raw sewage a year into “fresh” water across the country—enough to cover the entire state of Pennsylvania an inch deep.
But the stormwater crisis is also a tremendous opportunity to move in the direction of a new, community sustaining local economy.
Hilary Abell, author of the Democracy Collaborative report "Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale", talks with Grit TV's Laura Flanders about the policies and best practices that can help grow the worker cooperative sector in the United States. Read more about Hilary Abell talks with Laura Flanders about scaling worker cooperatives...
In an Al Jazeera article Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz presents a critical perspective of Thomas Piketty’s best-selling book Capital in the Twenty-First Century— emphasizing how democratizing ownership of capital can address the vast wealth inequalities that Piketty so powerfully documents.
With the encouragement of ICARE (The Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment), the City of Jacksonville invited The Democracy Collaborative to organize an exploratory conversation around community wealth building as a means of addressing local poverty and economic marginalization. Read more about Highlights from the 2014 Jacksonville Community Wealth Building Roundtable...