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Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealthby David C. Korten
Synopses & Reviews
Nearly two years after the economic meltdown, joblessness and foreclosures are still endemic, Wall Street executives are once again getting massive bonuses, and there doesn’t seem to be the will in Washington to make desperately needed fundamental changes to the economy. Change will have to come from below. Updated with several new chapters, this second edition of Agenda for a New Economy is the handbook for that revolution.
The root of the problem remains what it was in 2008: Wall Street institutions that have perfected the art of creating “phantom wealth”—mere numbers on paper—without producing anything of real value and without any thought of the social consequences. “Wall Street operates as a criminal syndicate engaged in financial scams and extortion rackets that impose unbearable costs on society while serving no beneficial function not better met in other ways,” Korten writes. In a new chapter, he looks at how events since September 2008 have simply proven that the predatory Wall Street leopard cannot change its spots.
Agenda for a New Economy is report of the New Economy Working Group. In this edition, Korten has fleshed out his vision of the alternative to the corporate Wall Street economy: a Main Street economy based on locally owned, community-oriented “living enterprises” whose success is measured as much by their positive impact on people and the environment as by their positive balance sheets. We will lose nothing because, as Korten ably demonstrates, the supposed services Wall Street offers are simply a con game. Our real needs can be met more effectively in other ways, which the new edition spells out. And, having reluctantly given up on the possibility of any substantial change from the top, Korten now offers more in-depth advice on how to mount a grassroots campaign to bring about an economy based on shared prosperity, ecological stewardship, and citizen democracy.
Nearly two years after the financial meltdown, economic recovery still seems a distant promise. Desperate, overwhelming need for change has not overcome Washington’s timid preference for the status quo. Joblessness and foreclosures remain endemic, and each day brings scandalous new revelations of outrageous Wall Street bonuses and corruption.
Issued as a report of the New Economy Working group, this substantially updated and expanded new edition of Agenda for a New Economy is a call for a national Declaration of Independence from Wall Street. What is needed, Korten argues, is a system that favors life values over financial values, roots power in people and community, and supports local resilience and self-organization within a framework of living markets and democracy. The new edition is a handbook for a nonviolent Main Street revolution – because change, as he explains, will not come from above. It will come from below.
The root of the problem, as detailed extensively in the first edition of Agenda for a New Economy, remains what it was in 2008: Wall Street institutions that have perfected the art of creating “phantom wealth”—mere numbers on paper—without producing anything of real value and without any thought of the social consequences. In the new edition, Korten examines how events since September 2008 have proven that the predatory Wall Street leopard cannot change its spots and explains why a visionary new president opted for marginal reform. He fleshes out his vision of the alternative to the corporate Wall Street economy: a Main Street economy based on locally owned, community-oriented “living enterprises” whose success is measured as much by their positive impact on people and the environment as by their positive balance sheets. Most importantly, he offers a groundbreaking plan as to what we as citizens can do to break through the political paralysis and replace the phantom-wealth Wall Street system with a living-wealth Main Street system that is responsive to the needs and values of ordinary people.
2011 Independent Publisher Book Award silver medalist!
About the Author
David Korten is president and founder of the People-Centered Development Forum, and serves as a board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). He is an associate of the International Forum on Globalization and a member of the Club of Rome. David has authored numerous books, including the bestselling titles The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, When Corporations Rule the World, and The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism. His newest title, Agenda for a New Economy (Second Edition) is a 2011 Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medalist. He is a regular guest on talk radio and television and a popular speaker at conferences around the world.
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