This is the version of capitalism where you get rich. Ha…ha…ha…Seriously folks we are hosting a talk with the author Peter Barnes co-founder of the progressive company Working Assets. Matt Stoller and Justin Krebs who as you know are Drinking Liberally cadre, both worked with Working Assets this last summer here in San Francisco. Peter will give a short synopsis of his book and be available to sign copies which will be on sale.
More importantly, in my opinion, he will be ready and willing to take questions from you after his short overview of the book. In our past meetups with such authors as Andy Stern of SEIU with his great book ‘Getting America Back on Track: An America that Works’ and Bill Scher of Liberal Oasis with his book ‘Wait Don’t Move to Canada’ all who attended had a great time and came away, I believe, with a little more understanding of what progressives want to do to make this nation a better place to live. Hint: It ain’t watchin’ more TV.
Here is the author in his preface explaining the central question he sought to answer which gave rise to this book:
……, I realized the question I’d been asking since early adulthood was: Is capitalism a brilliant solution to the problem of scarcity, or is it itself modernity’s central problem? The question has many layers, but explorations of each layer led me to the same verdict. Although capitalism started as a brilliant solution, it has become the central problem of our day. It was right for its time, but times have changed.When capitalism started, nature was abundant and capital was scarce; it thus made sense to reward capital above all else. Today we’re awash in capital and literally running out of nature. We’re also losing many social arrangements that bind us together as communities and enrich our lives in nonmonetary ways. This doesn’t mean capitalism is doomed or useless, but it does mean we have to modify it. We have to adapt it to the twenty-first century rather than the eighteenth.
And that can be done.
How this assertion can become reality is what Peter writes about in the rest of the book. The author first takes a stab at analyzing how our current economic system actually works and the problems built into it: destruction of the ecosphere, social inequality, the death of happiness in capitalist societies. Then he moves on to propose a new ‘operating system’ an upgrade actually which would address the built in flaws of Capitalism 2.0, our current system, to create a society where humanity’s real needs are met in a way that is sustainable and fulfilling. This is a big concept book but the author does get down to the nitty-gritty with such specific proposals as the following:
• A series of ecosystem trusts that protect air, water, forests
• A mutual fund that pays dividends to all Americans—one
person, one share;
• A trust fund that provides start-up capital to every child;
• A risk-sharing pool for health care that covers everyone;
• A national fund based on copyright fees that supports
• A limit on the amount of advertising
I was particularly intrigued with that last bullet point. Peter then goes on to propose how we might get from here to there. Due to the pressure of time I have only skimmed this book but I will have read it all by the time the meetup happens and I know I am looking forward to meeting the author and discussing his ideas with him.
I hope you will accept our invitation to attend this event scheduled for Wednesday, February 7th @ 6 pm sharp! See this Luka’s link for directions. It should be a great evening of D/L socializing and progressive discussion.