Mindful Economics is a valuable resource for anyone who wishes to deepen their understanding of the United States economy. The book breaks away from traditional economic theory and provides a fresh, critical perspective on capitalism in America. The book will be particularly useful for citizens, activists, students or others who seek positive social change. The first several chapters guide the readers through an exploration of real-world institutions such as corporations, government, market systems, financial and other institutions that make up the U.S. economy. These chapters provide much information about the histories of these institutions, as well as how they have evolved to serve the profit-making and growth imperatives of capitalism. Embedded in these stories is the consistent theme that the need to maximize profits for a relatively small section of the U.S. population has shaped the development of America’s most powerful institutions.
The second part of the book demonstrates how the need for higher profits and endless growth has intensified environmental destruction, resource depletion, instability, social and political inequality, and even global warming. These problems have become systemic and solutions therefore require long-term systemic change.
The path toward systemic change is laid out in the third part of Mindful Economics. Such change can be brought about by developing alternative institutions. As these alternatives evolve and grow, they will place the U.S. economy on a path to a new system. Systemic change will come about gradually by the will of people who purposefully steer the development of the economic institutions in their communities in a positive and healthy direction. To this end Mindful Economics lays a foundation for building new alternatives that are democratic, locally-based and ecologically sustainable. Such alternatives are not only viable, they can be found all across the United States. Through a network of alternative institutions, people can begin to build alternatives to capitalism and provide hope for future generations.
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