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Stop Subsidizing Overpaid CEOs & Why We Need Public Pharma!

RJ Eskow
We Act Radio

In this radio show Rj Esko interviews Dana Brown Deputy Director of the Next System Project on Zero Hour

Dana Brown is the Deputy Director of the Next System Project. Her research focuses on health system models and the intersection of health and economics. She joined the Democracy Collaborative in 2015 for the launch of the Next System Teach-Ins drawing on her experience with the Democracy Teach-Ins of the 90s and other popular education efforts related to the peace and social justice movements she has participated in for the last two decades.

Listen at We Act Radio

 

What Would a Socialist America Look Like?

Thomas Hanna, Joe Guinan and Peter Gowan
Politico Magazine

In this article, Politico Magazine writes about a socialist future, "What Would a Socialist America Look Like?" Peter Gowan—a fellow at The Democracy Collaborative—was interviewed about democratic ownership: 

A democratically elected government should own natural monopolies such as utilities and rail transport; provide social services like health care, education, housing, child care and banking; and create a general welfare state that eliminates poverty through guaranteeing a minimum income, with assistance for people with disabilities, the elderly and families with children.

But we have to go beyond that. We need measures to establish democratic ownership over the wider economy, and eliminate our dependence on industries that rely on pollution and war for their existence. There need to be strategies to allow workers in the defense, aerospace and fossil fuel industries to repurpose their facilities for more socially useful production, drawing on the example of the Lucas Plan in Britain, where workers designed and published a viable “alternative corporate plan” that included funding for renewable energy, public transport and medical technology. We need a mechanism to transfer corporate equity into sector-oriented social wealth funds controlled by diverse and accountable stakeholders, which would gradually transfer ownership away from unaccountable elites and toward inclusive institutions.

A democratic socialist America would be a society where wealth and power are far more evenly distributed, and it would be less cruel, less lonely and less alienating. Democratic socialism aims for the liberation of human agency and creativity—not just in America, but in all the countries that capital exploits and invades for the profits of our nation’s billionaires.

Read the full article at Politico Magazine

Trump Is Handing Us the Weapon We Need to Avert Climate Catastrophe

Johanna Bozuwa and Carla Skandier
Truthout

Democracy Collaborative staff, Johanna Bozuwa and Carla Skandier, write in Truthout about "Trump Is Handing Us the Weapon We Need to Avert Climate Catastrophe." In this article, Bozuwa and Skandier write about the research started about nationalization and climate change: 

A Future For Homeownership

Jarrid Green
Other Words

Jarried Green writes in Other Words "A Future For Homeownership." In this article, Green writes about how community land trust and housing could save the American dream: 

At this point, it’s no secret that America has an affordable housing problem. Home ownership, long the staple of the “American Dream,” is increasingly a privilege enjoyed only by the wealthier and whiter.

For many young people, the opportunity their parents had to build stable wealth through home ownership seems like a cruel joke in today’s economy. There’s even a viral tweet: “Millennials. Walking around like they rent the place.”

But the housing situation in the U.S. is no laughing matter.

Read more at Other Words

Employee ownership can boost NY economy, families

Jessica Rose
Times Union

CFO, and Director of Employee-Ownership of the Democracy Collaborative, Jessica Rose writes in Times Union "Employee ownership can boost NY economy, families." Rose's op-ed highlights how empowee-ownership can boost upstate New York's economy: 

"Companies owned by their employees are more widespread than you might think. Nationally, there are at least 7,000 of these firms in nearly every major industry, sector, and region of the U.S. In New York, many employee-owned businesses are recognized industry leaders and household brands, such as Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA) in the Bronx, and Chobani yogurt, in Norwich, which each employ more than 2,000 workers. Though structured differently, both offer employees an opportunity to share in the fruits of their labor which, in turn, makes workers invested in the company's success. It's not just fair, its smart: Extensive research shows that participatory employee ownership contributes to greater productivity and firm stability." 


Read more in Times Union

Policy Brief: Rebuilding America's Infrastructure

Ellen Brown
The Democracy Collaborative

In The Next System Project’s first policy brief, Democracy Collaborative Fellow Ellen Brown, founder and president emeritus of the Public Banking Institute, explores what’s wrong with President Trump’s approach to infrastructure. By focusing on private investment and public-private partnerships (PPPs) to come up with the capital to invest in repairing and upgrading our infrastructure, his plan will accelerate (partial) privatization of public assets and impose huge costs upon local residents, to be repaid through local taxes and extractive and regressive user fees like tolls.

Drawing on the historical precedents of both Lincoln’s investments in railroad infrastructure and FDR’s financing strategies for the New Deal, Brown shows how public strategies for investing in infrastructure make far more sense than what Trump is likely to put on the table. She estimates that an approach grounded in the use of public depository banks, either at the federal level or spread across a state-by-state network, could cut the $1.18 Trillion financing costs associated with a $1 Trillion investment in infrastructure in the Trump plan, once the returns demanded by private investors are factored in, to a mere $200 Billion. Not only would such public banks be able to lend money for infrastructure projects at a far lower rate, the interest earned on such loans would return to the public coffers.

Brown also identifies an even bolder approach that could bring the costs of investment in infrastructure down to zero. By embracing its power to create money for the public good using an innovative “qualitative easing” approach to inject new money into the real economy, the federal government could directly cover the costs of the pressing upgrades and repairs to our nation’s roads, bridges, dams, water supplies, electrical grid, and transit lines without the need to borrow any money at all.

Panel: Can Inclusive Economic Development Build Better Jobs and a Stronger Regional Economy?

January 27th, 2016
The Aspen Institute, One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036

On Wednesday, January 27, 2016, Washington, D.C. from 12:00-1:30pm, our Executive Vice President and a Senior Fellow, Marjorie Kelly, will speak on a panel alongside Richmond, Virginia Mayor Dwight C. Jones, and Sociologist and Fellow at The Worker Institute at Cornell, Sanjay Pinto. The discussion, part of The Aspen Institute's Working in America series, will be moderated by MSNBC's Dorian T. Warren, a Roosevelt Institute Fellow. Read more about Panel: Can Inclusive Economic Development Build Better Jobs and a Stronger Regional Economy?...

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