Local Dollars, Local Sense
What do you do if you are fortunate enough to have some extra money? Stuffit under your mattress? Invest in Wall Street? Put it in a bank? Forvarious reasons those may not be your best options. The economic crash andthe Occupy movement have widened the space for alternatives and newthinking. A once fledging choice, investing locally has greatly expandedand taken root in a variety of places. It makes sense. By making thedollar switch to Main Street there is at least the possibility of creatingmore vibrant, self-reliant communities. Local investing can be done usinga variety of approaches from cooperatives and community ownership to localexchanges. Exploring these options is critical. The big banks andinvestment firms, where most people have their money, are not overlyconcerned with building community.
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.