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Mobilizing for the common: some lessons from Italy

Mobilizing for the common: some lessons from Italy
Tens of thousands of protesters marched on Rome this Saturday to denounce the austerity measures and economic reforms of Matteo Renzi’s new government and to restate their call for income, housing and dignity for all. Dozens were injured as clashes broke out towards the end of the march and police violently charged forward into the crowds, indiscriminately beating protesters and trampling over those who got caught in the way. What the police ... Read more

Contracting Out Public Services Worsens Inequality and Lowers Wage

Contracting Out Public Services Worsens Inequality and Lowers Wage
Contracting out public services—which aims to help state and local governments save tax dollars—often has a harmful effect on the community, including worsening inequality and lowering wages. A recent study, “The Decision to Contract Out: Understanding the Full Economic and Social Impacts,” finds that the savings of outsourcing varies widely and often diminish over time. The study, by Daphne T. Greenwood of the Colorado Center for Policy ... Read more

The Commons as a Rising Alternative to State and Market

The Commons as a Rising Alternative to State and Market
Jeremy Rifkin's new book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society, brings welcome new attention to the commons just as it begins to explode in countless new directions. His book focuses on one of the most significant vectors of commons-based innovation -- the Internet and digital technologies -- and documents how the incremental costs of nearly everything is rapidly diminishing, often to zero. Rifkin explored the sweeping implications of this trend ... Read more

Swedish city embarks on 6-hour workday experiment

Swedish city embarks on 6-hour workday experiment
A Swedish city has embarked on an experiment in limiting the workday to six hours in an effort to improve productivity. A section of employees of the municipality of Gothenburg will now work an hour less a day than the seven hours customary in the Scandinavian social democracy famed for its work-life balance. The measure is being self-consciously conceived of as an experiment, with a group of municipal employees working fewer hours and a ... Read more

The World According to Modern Monetary Theory

The World According to Modern Monetary Theory
Too often the origins of our economic ills are cloaked by a mystical reverence for some autonomous money spirit. The economists behind Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) seek to lift money’s veil by studying the specific actions that occur as money is created, circulated, and destroyed. For those seeking a grand, unifying sociopolitical economic theory, MMT will disappoint. But as an analytic tool, MMT clarifies who holds genuine ... Read more

Where is the protest? A reply to Graeber and Lapavitsas

Where is the protest? A reply to Graeber and Lapavitsas
Last week, two commentaries appeared in The Guardian — one by David Graeber and the other by Costas Lapavitsas and Alex Politaki — basically asking the same question: given that we’re under such relentless assault by the rich and powerful, why are people not rioting in the streets? What happened to the indignation? The screws of austerity are only being tightened. So where are the protests? The two pieces provide two very different answers ... Read more

How To Curb Gentrification

How To Curb Gentrification
Crucially, CJJC’s analysis busts the biggest “development” myth: Gentrification is not inevitable—it can be prevented before it starts and stopped in neighborhoods where the process is already underway. The report proposes a comprehensive policy agenda to mitigate the effects of ongoing gentrification and prevent further displacement. “Since the government has taken such a key role in creating gentrification,” Clark says, “it can also help ... Read more

Which State Best Supports Its Locally Grown Foods?

Which State Best Supports Its Locally Grown Foods?
The push for more people to buy and eat locally produced foods keeps growing, but which states are actually practicing what they preach? For the third consecutive year, Strolling of the Heifers answers that question with its 2014 Locavore Index. The rankings take the per-capita number of farmers markets, consumer-supported agriculture operations (CSAs) and food hubs into account, along with the percentage of school districts with active ... Read more

When Public Goods Come Under Attack

When Public Goods Come Under Attack
Canada provides an instructive case. While struggling to secure democratic ownership and management of a variety of public goods and services (such as the healthcare system and education) helped forge the country as a people, neoliberalism is making some disturbing headway in the privatization of what was once deemed “off the table” in Canadian politics. The main lesson from this close read of the Canadian situation is that the fight for ... Read more

All the Presidents’ Bankers: Nomi Prins on the Secret History of Washington-Wall Street Collusion

All the Presidents’ Bankers: Nomi Prins on the Secret History of Washington-Wall Street Collusion
With U.S. inequality at its highest point since 1928 and Wall Street bonuses hitting pre-2008 levels, we look at the 100-year history of secret collusion between Washington and the financial industry. In her new book, "All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power," financial journalist Nomi Prins explores how a small number of bankers have played critical roles in shaping a century’s worth of financial, foreign ... Read more