In an important and path-breaking work, Michael Shuman shows clearly and persuasively how to transform our nation's financial system from a destructive engine for increasing economic inequality into a positive force for creating human well-being and community resilience. The cry today is for new laws and regulations to instill greater accountability and integrity in existing national and global financial markets. Shuman calls, instead, for legislative reforms that shift savings away from those growth-oriented and life-destroying markets to new local financial markets that serve life-enhancing, place-based community enterprise. Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity must be required reading for every elected official in the country as well as all "experts" in finance and business from the academic and corporate worlds.
—H. Thomas Johnson, professor of sustainability management, Portland State University, and author of Profit Beyond Measure
A Community Resilience Guide
Americans’ long-term savings in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, pension funds, and life insurance funds total about $30 trillion. But not even 1 percent of these savings touch local small business—even though roughly half the jobs and the output in the private economy come from them. So, how can people increasingly concerned with the poor returns from Wall Street and the devastating impact of global companies on their communities invest in Main Street?
In Local Dollars, Local Sense, local economy pioneer Michael Shuman shows investors, including the nearly 99% who are unaccredited, how to put their money into building local businesses and resilient regional economies—and profit in the process. A revolutionary toolbox for social change, written with compelling personal stories, the book delivers the most thorough overview available of local investment options, explains the obstacles, and profiles investors who have paved the way. Shuman demystifies the growing realm of local investment choices—from institutional lending to investment clubs and networks, local investment funds, community ownership, direct public offerings, local stock exchanges, crowdfunding, and more. He also guides readers through the lucrative opportunities to invest locally in their homes, energy efficiency, and themselves.
A rich resource for both investors and the entrepreneurs they want to support, Local Dollars, Local Sense eloquently shows how to truly protect your financial future—and your community’s.
About the Author
Michael H. Shuman
Michael H. Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and Director of Research and Marketing for Cutting Edge Capital. He has authored, coauthored, or edited eight books. His most recent book, just published by Chelsea Green, is Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Move Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity. His previous book, The Small Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition (Berrett-Koehler, 2006), received a bronze prize from the Independent Publishers Association for best business book of 2006. He helped co-found BALLE, which represents 22,000 local businesses in North ...