On the blog

Economics for the Future

How’s the economy looking to you? Of course, none of us has ever seen “the economy,” since the term is just an abstraction. But it is an abstraction that covers such a broad range of activities that we probably need a few new words to cover them all. If you’re poor, the economy doesn’t look […] Read More

Biomimicry and Cities

I have found my community — actually, one of several, but a special one. I attended the BALLE conference (no, not in Bali, but in Buffalo this year), an event focused on more enlightened, more powerful forms of business.  BALLE — the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies — emphasizes the primacy of local over […] Read More

Moving Pictures Move the World

By Michael Gordon Imagine the sound you make when you blow on a long untouched stack of papers, and visualize the cloud of dust you stir up ….         <insert the electronic equivalent of sound and image here>   … because, after a days that became months of not writing anything on this […] Read More

Buy good. Do good. Give marketers hell.

Some businesses go to any extent to get you to buy. The New York Times recently described the lengths stores will go to to make you uncomfortable so that you’ll buy more. Why? “Experts” in marketing have discovered that the louder, the more repetitive, the more crowded — hell, the more irritating — the more […] Read More

Emergent Politics. Some Numbers, Please.

What does electoral emergence look like?  Consider: We just re-elected a Democrat President who will need to work with a Republican House and Democrat Senate. Or viewed differently: the people have said that they want a divided government (as Speaker Boehner suggested), not an unimpeded move towards a more progressive agenda. Or did they? The Presidency […] Read More

Unemployment Data Minus the Conspiracy Theory

You know the saying: lies, damn lies, and statistics. Now add: political statistics. Friday’s jobless rate is either good news, terrible news, or made up news (shameful, Jack Welch). I decided to do a bit of fact checking to see what I could come up with. To put things in a bit of historical context, […] Read More

Presidential Debate: Focus on Inclusivity

If I were hosting the upcoming presidential debate on domestic policy, what questions would I ask? They would center on inclusivity: How can we challenge the economic beliefs that are holding back our economy? How can we include the poor as a source of resourcefulness, innovation, and business opportunity? How can we better identify and […] Read More

Americans Love Socialism

The Atlantic just ran a nice article in which it reported an interesting survey it had conducted. In the survey, respondents (only Americans) were shown two nations’ wealth distributions–one like Sweden’s (but even more equitable); and one like the United States’s–and asked to choose which country they’d rather live in. Respondents preferred the country with […] Read More

Sandwiches against Madness

I’m in London before heading tomorrow to Oxford for a colloquium on social entrepreneurship. I stopped at a British food shop, Prêt a Manager, which offers advice about addressing hunger that is as eloquent as any paper I’m likely to read at the Oxford gathering. Simple advice of the kind we’d all be much better […] Read More

Diamonds, Dimons, and Our Money

Driving on the highway, I saw a bumper sticker surely announcing that the political season is upon us:  R  omney–the R being a flaggy, red and blue affair set off from the rest of the name. Not a big leap to create an anagram: R money, and from that Our money. Which brings up the […] Read More