To Truly Address Inequality, Let's Build a People-Centered Economy by Laura Flanders a€” YES! The high-tech hubs and natural gas drilling the president called for in his state of the union speech aren't the answer to our economic woes.
Many Americans are already creating worker owned co-ops, community-owned businesses, and public services that feed the stomach and the soul. To stop the shrinking of the public sector, the president needs to bring jobs back home, said union members. The president talked about speeding approvals for infrastructure repair and high-tech "hubs." Why not do away with the middleman? Antifracking activists responded to President Obama's support for natural gas as "a bridge fuel." It's a bridge to nowhere, several said.
President Obama said, "We all owe it to the American people to say what we're for, not just what wea€™re against." There's also a responsibility to listen.


Instead, we need to follow the leadership already coming from communities, workers, and small-business owners.
After years of saying the word "poverty" fewer times than any president in memory (and talking about the middle class more), here was Obama talking about inequality and workers stifled by low wages. Now "citizens" (and would-be citizens) will have to come up with solutions too, because his won't take us very far. Ten dollars and ten cents an hour is nice, but $20,000 a year is hardly a ticket out of poverty, even if you can find a full-time job in the public sector. The feds spend a reported $1.5 billion a year buying camo pants and TSA uniforms from companies overseas.
If government's going to invest in private businesses, why not demand an ownership share for the taxpayers?
Many Americans are saying loudly what they're for, and they're making it happen: creating worker owned co-ops, community-owned businesses, and public services that feed the stomach and the soul.


Magazine, I'm calling it "Commonomics"a€”as one follower described it, "people-centered economics." That's economics that serves local people and the planet first, not ever-increasing profit. The demand on the street, in case the president missed it, has been for $15 an hour, and the right to bargain collectively so workers have some power. Obviously the government needs to set labor standards for overseas procurement and stick to them. And why not keep those companies public, so the profits, not just the risks stay with the taxpayers?
As Goehl suggests, it's possible to make a fairer economy, but not if policy makers only tinker, and not if "citizens" wait for someone else to do it.



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