Saturday, May 23, 2015

We need a new economic system

From this article by Gar Alperovitz. Actual democracy, imagine that. That this sort of thing only gets press in Aljazeera says a lot about our media outlets.

"Long-term structural shifts in the political economy have rendered the program of regulation and reform more or less inoperative. [...] Any real change will require not just regulatory redistribution, but a fundamental shift in the dynamics of wealth accumulation. [...] If we want an economy that delivers democratic rather than plutocratic outcomes — we need to democratize the economy."

"But this idea that we urgently need to democratize ownership of the economy is not really all that 'radical' in the normal sense. It does not reject all private ownership; it merely demands that more people share in it, and that the public undertake new ownership strategies. [...] These and other kinds of public enterprises, designed to be owned democratically by the nation as a whole, would not aim simply to regulate the consequences of the profit-maximizing behavior of corporations — they would aim to displace them."

"[W]orker ownership, including worker cooperatives, can and should be encouraged through federal policy initiatives. At the local level in the 'laboratories of democracy,' this kind of shift —toward models for economic development that prioritize democratic cooperative and community ownership — is already well under way and picking up steam."

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