Think food co-ops can only exist in wealthy neighborhoods? Think again, and then check out this exciting new resource from the Cooperative Development Institute (an NEC member) detailing different models of cooperative ownership that are bringing real food and good jobs to low-income communities around the US.
Working to build a new economy from the bottom up will require a lot of experimentation. Having a long-term vision can help make sure such new experiments open the door to even more transformative change in how the economy works.
We currently face two equally urgent and significant crises: rising inequality and climate change. Rising inequality is not only morally unacceptable; it hinders economic growth. Climate change is occurring at a faster rate than other time in history and is already impacting every part of the country with low-income communities and communities of color getting hit first and most hard.
Climate change, shifting demographics, and sobering economic realities for a growing number of Americans have sparked increased awareness of the need to re-examine how working class people and communities of color will successfully participate in tomorrow’s economy, the one they will inherit when our nation becomes an ethnic plurality.
In the not-too distant future we can expect to see a rapid increase in structural unemployment as a result of increasing substitution of technology—including sophisticated robots—for human labor. A massive shift to new energy technologies can, in the short run, substitute for many jobs lost in the dirty fuel industries we must, and will, phase out.