The Alternative: How to Build a Just Economy

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Winners Take All meets Nickel and Dimed: a provocative debunking of accepted wisdom, providing the pathway to a sustainable, survivable economy.

Confronted by the terrifying trends of the early twenty-first century - widening inequality, environmental destruction, and the immiseration of millions of workers around the world - many economists and business leaders still preach dogmas that lack evidence and create political catastrophe: Private markets are always more efficient than public ones; investment capital flows efficiently to necessary projects; massive inequality is the unavoidable side effect of economic growth; people are selfish and will only behave well with the right incentives.

But a growing number of people - academic economists, business owners, policy entrepreneurs, and ordinary people - are rejecting these myths and reshaping economies around the world to reflect ethical and social values. Though they differ in approach, all share a vision of the economy as a place of moral action and accountability. Journalist Nick Romeo has spent years covering the world's most innovative economic and policy ideas for The New Yorker. Romeo takes us on an extraordinary journey through the unforgettable stories and successes of people working to build economies that are more equal, just, and livable. Combining original, in-depth reporting with expert analysis, Romeo explores:
  • The successful business owners organizing their companies as purpose trusts (as Patagonia recently did) to fulfill a higher mission, such as sharing profits with workers or protecting the environment
  • The growing deployment of new models by venture capital funds to promote wealth creation for the poorest Americans and address climate change.
  • How Oslo's climate budgeting program is achieving the emission reduction targets the rest of the world continues to miss, creating a model that will soon be emulated by governments around the world
  • How Portugal strengths democratic culture by letting citizens make crucial budget decisions
  • The way worker ownership and cooperatives foster innovation, share wealth, and improve the quality of jobs, offering an increasingly popular model superior to the traditional corporation
  • The public-sector marketplace that offers decent work and real protections to gig workers in California
  • The job guarantee program in southern Austria that offers high-quality meaningful jobs to every citizen
Many books have exposed what's not working in our current system. Romeo reveals something even more essential: the structure of a system that could actually work for everyone. Margaret Thatcher was wrong: there is an alternative. This is what it looks like.

Author: Nick Romeo
Binding Type: Hardcover
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Published: 01/16/2024
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781541701595

Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 10/09/2023
Kirkus Reviews 10/15/2023

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