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Local Dollars, Local Sense + A New Economic Paradigm

Program #ALPG002-BLAW001.

Michael Shuman - Local Dollars, Local Sense

What do you do if you are fortunate enough to have some extra money? Stuff
it under your mattress? Invest in Wall Street? Put it in a bank? For
various reasons those may not be your best options. The economic crash and
the Occupy movement have widened the space for alternatives and new
thinking. A once fledging choice, investing locally has greatly expanded
and taken root in a variety of places. It makes sense. By making the
dollar switch to Main Street there is at least the possibility of creating
more vibrant, self-reliant communities. Local investing can be done using
a variety of approaches from cooperatives and community ownership to local
exchanges. Exploring these options is critical. The big banks and
investment firms, where most people have their money, are not overly
concerned with building community.

Gar Alperovitz - A New Economic Paradigm

When something doesn't work you either get it fixed or replace it. Makes sense right? Take capitalism. It careens from crisis to crisis. It has systemic structural problems. The traditional remedies, such as legislative reform, don't work or if they do they are soon outflanked by power brokers who know how to game the rules. The Great Recession continues. Discontent and anger are growing. The Occupy movement has illuminated how deeply the deck is stacked against the ordinary citizen. It is past time to look at alternatives in how the economy is organized. Fundamental changes are required. It may take a long time but seeds are now being sown. There are bottom-up grassroots efforts quietly going on that suggest a different model. There is an emerging "new economy" which empower communities and workers, not corporations.


Michael Shuman

Michael Shuman is the co-director of the Institute for Policy Studies and author of numerous books and articles on the connection between local economies and international affiars.

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