Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Change the World: Support a New Kind of Capitalism

The way the U.S. economy works is not very down to earth. Indeed, this country was founded on the backs of slaves, but that doesn’t mean our future must be that of enslavement. The economy has been based on a top-down model that favors fat cats, but this does not mean it will be top-down forever. Woody Tasch, author of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered, puts forth a different vision—a meta-economic vision—that looks above the top line and below the bottom line, a new way of seeing what is going on in the soil of the economy. So this 4th of July, let’s declare our freedom from our fixation on money, money, money, and seek a different route to feeling human.

From The Green Fork’s review of the book:

In fact, our fixation on making a killing, as opposed to making a living, is what’s brought our economy to the brink of collapse, as venture capitalist/eco-preneur Woody Tasch argues brilliantly in his new book. The title, Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered may be a mouthful, but it’s one I’d love to see on everyone’s lips, because this book gets right to the heart of everything that’s ailing our economy and corroding our culture.

Tasch’s book is, in part, about how bad business decisions keep us from having good food. But it’s not your (organic) garden variety indictment of industrial agriculture. Yes, his “Slow Money” concept borrows freely from Italy’s Slow Food movement—which famously began as a revolt against a McDonalds in Rome—and Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini wrote the forward to Tasch’s book. But Slow Money is not some kind of simplistic, anti-corporate, socialist rant.

Rather, Tasch offers a formula for a new kind of capitalism in which farmers’ markets and stock markets both flourish. Tasch’s economic agenda is founded on the heretical notion that we need to think about the long term consequences of how we invest our natural resources and our human capital, instead of dwelling on quarterly profits and worshipping the false gods of convenience and consumption.

If we weren’t so shortsighted, and so enamored of easy money, we’d be less vulnerable to scummy scammers like Bernie Madoff, the sleazy money lenders, and all the other charlatans who helped create this recession. We might learn to think of our housing as shelter, first and foremost, and long-term investment—not an asset to be flipped, or an ATM. We might also be more willing to confront the serious problems that plague our industrialized food system, as documented in Food, Inc.

Read the entire review here.


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Solar Dollars: Promote Renewable Energy & Support Local Economies

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Using Permaculture Principles to Design Resilient Cities

The Permaculture City begins in the garden but takes what we have learned there and applies it to a much broader range of human experience; we’re not just gardening plants but people, neighborhoods, and even cultures.Author Toby Hemenway (Gaia’s Garden) lays out how permaculture design can help towndwellers solve the challenges of meeting our needs […] Read More
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