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Disgorge the Cash

Disgorge the Cash
The problem finance solves is not how to allocate society’s scarce savings between competing investment opportunities. The problem is how to separate the rents that come from control of a strategic social coordination problem from the social ties and obligations that go with it. True capitalists don’t want to make steel or restaurant deals or jumbo jets or search engines. They want to make money. Read more

Toward Cyborg Socialism

Toward Cyborg Socialism
Part of the point of Earth Day was to distance the nascent environmentalist movement from New Left critiques of consumer society, suburban development, and nuclear waste. In an attempt to avoid charges of “watermelon” politics — green on the outside, red on the inside — the message of the early environmental movement, as one Greenpeace slogan explicitly stated, was “I’m not a Red, I’m a Green.” As environmentalism went mainstream, green ... Read more

The Silver Lining of Speed-Driven Finance

The Silver Lining of Speed-Driven Finance
The technical architecture of high-frequency trading is right out of a sci-fi movie—the schemes rely on algorithms that seem artificially intelligent, and the velocity of transaction signals approach light speed. As Lewis recounts, all that technological wizardry is marshaled to let insiders know information before everyone else, which consequently lets those insiders extract wealth from the market. The good news is that a financial ... Read more

The Underground Railroad Was One of America’s First Co-ops: A Black History Tour of Cooperative Economics

The Underground Railroad Was One of America’s First Co-ops: A Black History Tour of Cooperative Economics
Cooperative economics and civil rights don't often appear together in history books, but they should. From the mutual aid societies that bought enslaved people's freedom to the underground railroad network that brought endangered blacks to the north, cooperative structures were key to evading white supremacy. And there was vicious backlash when black co-ops threatened the status quo. Read more

Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change

Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change
Today there are farmers and agricultural scientists in every corner of the world committed to and excited about the results of regenerative organic agriculture‘s potential in mitigating both climate issues and food insecurity, and the specific research needs have been well documented. Now is the time to harness cutting-edge technological understanding, human ingenuity and the rich history of farmers working in tandem with the wisdom of ... Read more

When Predatory Equity Hit the Big Apple – And What It Tells Us About the Future

When Predatory Equity Hit the Big Apple – And What It Tells Us About the Future
Things are heating up inside Wall Street’s new rental empire. Over the last few years, giant private equity firms have bet big on the housing market, buying up more than 200,000 cheap homes across the country. Their plan is to rent the houses back to families -- sometimes the very same people who were displaced during the foreclosure crisis -- while waiting for the home values to rise. But it wouldn’t be Wall Street not to have a short-term ... Read more

New study finds US to be ruled by oligarchic elite

New study finds US to be ruled by oligarchic elite
The way we perceive business power and define the capitalist state will inevitably have serious implications for our political strategies. The danger with empirical studies that narrowly emphasize the role of elites at the expense of the deeper structural sources of capitalist power is that they will end up reinforcing the illusion that simply replacing the elites and “taking money out of politics” would be sufficient to restore democracy to ... Read more

Bitcoin for activists — what you need to know

Bitcoin for activists — what you need to know
Among activists one often finds an aversion to even thinking about money. Associating it with the opponent — who has lots of it — they try to do without money themselves. Often, for as long as they can, they try to organize and resist without it, until burning out, quitting and getting into a different line of work just to keep up on rent. But, as the 19th-century U.S. populist movement recognized, money is also a battleground. Today, as a ... Read more

Infographic: Community Land Trusts

Infographic: Community Land Trusts
Community land trusts are a key strategy for helping low-income communities build assets through home ownership while mitigating the destructive consequences of irrational, speculation-fueled housing markets. By keeping housing permanently affordable, a community land trust helps reduce the displacement that can accompany gentrification when property values are climbing, and provides acommunity framework that supports residents and limits ... Read more

Here’s what fracking can do to your health

Here’s what fracking can do to your health
Although the natural gas industry is notoriously tight-lipped about the ingredients of the chemical cocktails that get pumped down into wells, by now it's widely known that the list often includes some pretty scary, dangerous stuff, including hydrochloric acid and ethylene glycol (a.k.a. antifreeze). It's also no secret that well sites release hazardous gases like methane and benzene (a carcinogen) into the atmosphere. So just how dangerous ... Read more