Plenitude: The Emerging New Economy + Beyond Capitalism


First Program: Juliet Schor - Plenitude: The Emerging New Economy

Ecological decline is staring us in the face. With ever finite resources and an ever voracious appetite for them, the stress on this “pale blue dot” as Carl Sagan called earth is simply too much. Something has to give. The business as usual model is a prescription for widespread misery and destruction. The U.S. with much of its population pursuing what is called the good life of endless consumption is probably the biggest culprit but other countries are not that far behind. To begin with the attitude toward nature has to radically change. The pattern of plundering and extraction is a dead end. Humankind should be in partnership with nature not in an adversarial relationship. People are figuring this out. There are many initiatives to turn things around and create a new economy rooted in common sense and environmental sustainability.

 Second Program: Gar Alperovitz - Beyond Capitalism

Discontent with the corporate-run economy is mounting in the wake of the Great Recession. For too many these are dark times suffused by anger, hopelessness, and despair. There is a long-term structural crisis of capitalism. The problems are systemic. The top 400 people own more wealth than the bottom 185 million Americans. How to reverse the ominous spiral of income and wealth inequality? There is an emerging new economy of practical bottom-up efforts underway in many cities and towns that seek to democratize wealth and empower citizens and communities, not corporations. There is a range of initiatives such as worker-owned businesses, cooperatives, community land trusts, credit unions, and social enterprises. These structures suggest a roadmap for laying the foundation to support the values of equality and meaningful democracy and creating a sustainable economy that can satisfy human needs.


Juliet Schor (click to view archive)

Juliet Schor is Professor of Sociology at Boston College. Before joining Boston College, she taught at Harvard in the Department of Economics. She is author of many books including The Overworked American, Do Americans Shop Too Much? and Plenitude:  The New Economics of True Wealth

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