Director of European Programs
Beyond Municipal Protectionism
Joe Guinan and Sarah McKinley of The Democracy Collaborative discuss community wealth building and the need for a new way to determine the true value of local and regional economies beyond the common but distorted GDP and profit/loss metrics. They reflect on the total local public balance sheet as one potential form for measuring these values.
Looking at everything from increased taxes, reduced welfare, and the cost of unemployment, social services, and other ‘externalities’ on a given locality, the local public balance sheet “compares the total taxpayer and public benefits from direct intervention to maintain local employment against total costs.” The goal is to create a more comprehensive guide for evaluating public action or inaction than conventional considerations of profit and loss based on looking only at the books of private firms – a narrow and antisocial view.