The New Economy Glossary

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The Commons

In pre-capitalist times, shared commons were the source of sustenance for most people. Though corporations have now privatized and depleted much of the commons, it lives on in three portfolios: natural wealth (air, water, seeds, ecosystems, other species); community wealth (streets, parks, the Internet, money, social insur­ance); and cultural wealth (music, art, science, open-source software). All of these are gifts we share and are obliged to preserve for others and for future generations. Here’s the rub: under capitalism, common wealth is increasingly appro­­priated by private corporations and wealthy individuals for profit . To counter this, we need to expand and strengthen both the com­mons and the institu­tions that sustain them. Source: Beautiful Solutions

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