The US economy is designed by the 1 percent, for the 1 percent,
says Ted Howard in conversation here with Claudia Cragg
(@ClaudiaCragg). His new book,
The Making of a Democratic Economy, written with Marjorie
Kelly, offers a compelling vision of an equitable, ecologically
sustainable alternative that meets the essential needs of all
Ted Howard is the Co-founder and President of The Democracy
Collaborative. Previously, he served as the Executive Director
of the National Center for Economic Alternatives.
Howard and Kelly argue cogently that we now live in a world where
26 billionaires own as much wealth as half the planet’s population.
The extractive economy we live with now enables the financial elite
to squeeze out maximum gain for themselves, heedless of damage to
people or planet. But Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard show that there
is a new economy emerging focused on helping everyone thrive while
respecting planetary boundaries.
At a time when competing political visions are at stake the world
over, this book urges a move beyond tinkering at the margins to
address the systemic crisis of our economy. Kelly and Howard
outline seven principles of what they call a Democratic Economy:
community, inclusion, place (keeping wealth local), good work
(putting labor before capital), democratized ownership, ethical
finance, and sustainability. Each principle is paired with a place
putting it into practice: Pine Ridge, Preston, Portland, Cleveland,
This book tells stories not just of activists and grassroots
leaders but of the unexpected accomplices of the Democratic
Economy. Seeds of a future beyond corporate capitalism and state
socialism are being planted in hospital procurement departments,
pension fund offices, and even company boardrooms.
The road to a system grounded in community, democracy, and justice
remains uncertain. Kelly and Howard help us understand we make this
road as we walk it by taking a first step together beyond isolation
About the Podcast
Interviews with personalities, experts and authors.