Chelsea Green Publishing

Local Dollars, Local Sense

Pages:288 pages
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603583435
Pub. Date February 20, 2012
eBook: 9781603583442
Pub. Date February 20, 2012

Local Dollars, Local Sense

How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity

By Michael Shuman
Foreword by Peter Buffett

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
February 20, 2012

$17.95

Availability: In Stock

eBook

Available Date:
February 20, 2012

$17.95 $14.36

Local Dollars, Local Sense is a guide to creating Community Resilience.

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.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

"Michael Shuman has done it again. In Local Dollars, Local Sense, he answers the central question of the era: How does capital get invested? Whether you are concerned with job creation, environmental destruction, immigration, public health or education, this book will not only tell you why things are going wrong, it will tell you how we can make things right."--Kevin Danaher, cofounder, Global Exchange and Green Festivals

"Brilliant and perfectly timed, Local Dollars, Local Sense enables us to transform worry and confusion about our personal finances, and the nation's, into rewarding action. Shuman shows us-in part with compelling stories-how investment choices are really exciting sources of power to achieve peace of mind for our families as we create thriving, democratic communities. I love this ground-breaking, liberating book!"--Frances Moore Lappé, author of EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want

"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

"How can we secure our personal finances while simultaneously helping to rebuild our communities? Read this book and find out. Michael Shuman's advice urgently needs to be heeded. Authoritative yet highly readable, Local Dollars, Local Sense illuminates the path toward a very different economy, providing practical advice that is more intensely relevant with every passing day."--Helena Norberg-Hodge, founder, International Society for Ecology and Culture; producer, The Economics of Happiness

"Local small businesses employ more people and respond to community needs better than big corporations do-but nearly all our investment dollars support Wall Street banks and huge companies. The path to local investing has been strewn with obstacles. Michael Shuman clears a path for us all, showing how local investing can help solve some of America's biggest social, economic, environmental, and political problems. This is a book many of us have been waiting for."--Richard Heinberg, author of The End of Growth and Peak Everything

"Where to invest your money in these uncertain times? Bring it home, advises Michael Shuman. But don't put it under the mattress! This smart and thoughtful book explains the many ways we can invest in our local economies to not only receive a more reliable return than the stock market casino can provide, but also to live in more self-reliant and joyful communities. Join the shift toward true prosperity. This book shows you how."--Judy Wicks, cofounder, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

"Changing the direction our money flows in away from the tax havens and the banks and toward the urgent rebuilding of community resilience at the local scale is one of our most pressing and urgent tasks. Michael Shuman inspires and equips us for this work with great vision and purpose."--Rob Hopkins, author of The Transition Companion and cofounder of the Transition Network

"Prepare to rethink everything you've learned about investing! In this tour de force, Michael Shuman provides an eye-opening look at how local companies can trump market returns, and how legalized crowdfunding might do more for job creation than the failed policies of throwing taxpayer money at big corporations. The book abounds with examples of community investment that are helping to rebuild local economies, and provides a tantalizing glimpse of life beyond corporate capitalism."--Amy Cortese, author, Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It

"Want something that makes sense amid the increasingly crazy world of global finance? Going local is it and Michael Shuman has been at the forefront of this cutting-edge thinking for more than a decade. He not only maps the emerging process of economic localization, but also gets down to the nitty gritty: the investment strategies and the financial practitioners who are making it real."--Woody Tasch, chairman, Slow Money; chairman emeritus, Investor's Circle; and author of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money

"There is no task more urgent facing this country than rebuilding local economies, and Michael Shuman knows this inside and out. This book should be required reading for Americans."--James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency and other books

"This long-awaited book is a masterpiece and a field guide to a much-needed journey into creating the kind of economy our children will be happy to inherit. Future generations will praise Local Dollars, Local Sense as one of those seminal works that helped transform human societies."--John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hitman and Hoodwinked

"Local is the new green, because local encompasses the wholeness of real places - nature and people and the complex web of relationships among them. Living on an island, I have a special appreciation for local resilience. I know my community is my real security. My bank. The financial system makes it easy to invest in distant corporations and difficult to invest in our own neighbor's start-ups and business expansion. Enter Michael Shuman and this wonderful book, Local Dollars, Local Sense. He outlines many practical innovations that can flow money back into the productivity and prosperity of the places we call home. With the growing interest in moving our money out of Wall Street and into Main Street, Michael's book provides a very welcome roadmap for local investing.--Vicki Robin, author of Your Money or Your Life

"Michael Shuman answers a lot of questions I've always wondered about, and in the process paints a practical vision of exactly where we need to be headed in this country. Consider this book an excellent investment!"--Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth and The End of Nature

Publishers Weekly-
Economist and entrepreneur Shuman (The Small-Mart Revolution) provides a convincing argument that the general public should be allowed to invest in small businesses. Today, millions of Americans are reluctant to trust a rickety Wall Street with their retirement assets or savings for their kids' education, and instead, they're interested in investing locally, especially since small businesses are more profitable than larger corporations. However, less than one percent of Americans's long-term savings touches local small business, which means that Americans are systematically overinvesting in Wall Street and under-investing in Main Street. Shuman offers the average investor attractive alternatives that comply with securities laws, but allow for investing in neighborhood cooperatives, and more. In addition, he explores the challenges of securing institutional lending, and shares valuable insights about how local businesses have deployed creative investment strategies to avoid or reduce the costs of security law compliance, how local investors can pool together to diversify their risks, and how individuals can earn superior returns from investing in their own bank, home, and energy efficiency. Shuman's accessible book will help investors of all backgrounds take action.

Kirkus Reviews-
In an installment of the environmentally responsible publisher's Community Resilience Guide series, an astute economist weighs in on a hot-button issue: how to keep local dollars invested in local businesses. Shuman (The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition, 2007, etc.) offers real-time suggestions for investing hard-earned American money back into community-based businesses. In the introduction, musician and philanthropist Peter Buffett restates the importance of a return to the "fundamental aspects of human nature" to reverse what he believes to be the nation's crippled socioeconomic structure. Shuman expands on Buffett's beliefs by citing America's broken investment system whereby money spent at local merchants becomes reinvested into large Wall Street corporations. He cites several "local-investment tools" as the building blocks in a plan to reallocate and redistribute capital back into communities that need it more than the "bandits of Wall Street." After an outline of weak retirement investment returns, a stagnant economy and the bleak outlook for future retirees, the author advances highly practical arguments in favor of supporting locally grown foodstuffs, community banking, autonomous cooperative organizations and the adoption of a sustainable mindset. Shuman sensibly lays out the groundwork for a revamped economic platform with profiles of many viable, "green" companies and nonprofit alliances alongside intensively researched facts about banks, securities and recession-proof purchasing strategies. As his thesis deepens, however, the material becomes more applicable for more seasoned, jargon-friendly economists. Still, those emerging with a modicum of head-scratching will find Shuman's galvanized eco-speak an intelligent voice in assigning a conscience to the process of how and where hard-earned dollars are spent. An impassioned, forward-thinking plea for economic reform at the grassroots level.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Shuman

Michael H. Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and a globally recognized expert on community economics. He is one of the architects of the crowdfunding JOBS Act signed into law by President Obama in April 2012.

He’s a fellow at Cutting Edge Capital and Post Carbon Institute and a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). He teaches economic development at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. He has authored or coauthored nine books, including Local Dollars, Local Sense; The Small Mart Revolution; and Going Local. Shuman has performed leakage analyses and related economic­ development planning in more than ten states and has analyzed opportunities for food localization for several states, cities, counties, and regions across the nation. He has given an average of more than one invited talk per week, mostly to local governments and universities, for thirty years—in forty­seven states and eight countries. He has appeared on numerous television and radio shows, such as the The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and NPR's Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered, and has written nearly one hundred articles for such periodicals as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The Weekly Standard, Foreign Policy, Parade Magazine, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Previously, he has been a W.K. Kellogg National Leadership fellow. He is also a member of both the State Bar of California and the District of Columbia Bar, and he lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his two children.

ALSO BY THIS AUTHOR

The Local Economy Solution

The Local Economy Solution

By Michael Shuman

Reinventing economic development as if small business mattered

In cities and towns across the nation, economic development is at a crossroads. A growing body of evidence has proven that its current cornerstone—incentives to attract and retain large, globally mobile businesses—is a dead end. Even those programs that focus on local business, through buy-local initiatives, for example, depend on ongoing support from government or philanthropy. The entire practice of economic development has become ineffective and unaffordable and is in need of a makeover. 

The Local Economy Solution suggests an alternative approach in which states and cities nurture a new generation of special kinds of businesses that help local businesses grow. These cutting-edge companies, which Shuman calls “pollinator businesses,” are creating jobs and the conditions for future economic growth, and doing so in self-financing ways. 

Pollinator businesses are especially important to communities that are struggling to lift themselves up in a period of economic austerity, when municipal budgets are being slashed. They also promote locally owned businesses that increase local self-reliance and evince high labor and environmental standards. 

The book includes nearly two dozen case studies of successful pollinator businesses that are creatively facilitating business and neighborhood improvements, entrepreneurship, local purchasing, local investing, and profitable business partnerships. Examples include Main Street Genome (which provides invaluable data to improve local business performance), Supportland (which is developing a powerful loyalty card for local businesses), and Fledge (a business accelerator that finances itself through royalty payments). It also shows how the right kinds of public policy can encourage the spread of pollinator businesses at virtually no cost.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

Read More

The Local Economy Solution

Michael Shuman

Paperback $19.95

Raising Dough

Raising Dough

By Elizabeth Ü

More and more entrepreneurs are using food-based businesses to solve social and environmental problems - and yet the majority of them report that a lack of access to capital prevents them from launching, maintaining, or growing their ventures. Raising Dough is an unprecedented guide to the full range of financing options available to support sustainable food businesses.

Raising Dough provides valuable insights into the world of finance, including:

  • Descriptions of various capital options, including traditional debt and equity, government grant and loan programs, and cutting-edge models such as crowdfunding and community-based alternatives
  • Guiding questions to help determine which capital options are the most appropriate given the size, stage, entity type, growth plans, mission, and values of an enterprise
  • Case studies and testimonials highlighting the experiences of food system entrepreneurs who have been there before, including both success stories and cautionary tales
  • Referrals to sources of capital, financiers, investor networks, and other financial resources.

Written primarily for people managing socially responsible food businesses, the resources and tips covered in this book will benefit social entrepreneurs - and their investors - working in any sector.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

Read More

Raising Dough

Elizabeth Ü, Michael Shuman

Paperback $19.95

AUTHOR VIDEOS

Michael Shuman Speaking Tour 2012

Michael Shuman Speaking Tour 2012

How Local Businesses Can Benefit from the Energy Crisis

How Local Businesses Can Benefit from the Energy Crisis

The Economics of Happiness

The Economics of Happiness

Michael Shuman - TEDxUVM

Michael Shuman - TEDxUVM

Rebuilding Communities: Local Economic Development

Rebuilding Communities: Local Economic Development

Michael Shuman Lecture: The Small-Mart Revolution

Michael Shuman Lecture: The Small-Mart Revolution

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

How on Earth

How on Earth

By Jennifer Hinton and Donnie Maclurcan

Something incredible is happening within our economy. Beyond the failures of state socialism and the excesses of corporate capitalism, a realistic alternative is emerging. In How on Earth, Donnie Maclurcan and Jennifer Hinton chart the rise of businesses that place purpose ahead of profit, and outline how the advantages these businesses hold in the marketplace pave the way to an entirely different economic system, focused on addressing human need, not greed.

At the heart of this monumental transition lies the changing nature of not-for-profit (NFP) organizations. Contrary to popular notions of non-profit inefficiency, unaccountability, and dependence on donors, the 21st century NFP is proving highly efficient, transparent, and increasingly self-funded.

Distinguishing themselves from B corps and ethical/green shareholder companies by always reinvesting rather than privatizing profits, NFP enterprises around the world are proliferating and succeeding in areas as diverse as construction, manufacturing, software development, food catering, and retail. In a process described by Jeremy Rifkin as ‘the eclipse of capitalism’, many NFP enterprises (including various forms of cooperatives, community interest companies, government-owned corporations, and social businesses) are now outperforming their for-profit counterparts, driven by marked advantages in terms of finance, human resources, productivity, innovation, governance, environmental outcomes, value creation and market reputation. Simultaneously, NFP enterprises are increasingly curbing the excesses that have traditionally been associated with the charitable sector.

Moving beyond the market/state dichotomy, the NFP model finally aligns our economy with the social values that modern science and ancient wisdom agree are central to our shared prosperity. With wealth recirculating through a purpose-driven system, the emerging NFP world economy is better able to serve people and planet, while retaining market dynamics and requiring less taxation and government bureaucracy in the process.

A groundbreaking contribution to economic theory, How on Earth presents the world’s first practical blueprint for the transition to a fairer, thriving economy that offers quality of life for all while respecting our ecological limits.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

How on Earth

Jennifer Hinton, Donnie Maclurcan

Paperback $19.95

The Looting of America

The Looting of America

By Les Leopold

How could the best and brightest (and most highly paid) in finance crash the global economy and then get us to bail them out as well? What caused this mess in the first place? Housing? Greed? Dumb politicians? What can Main Street do about it?

In The Looting of America, Leopold debunks the prevailing media myths that blame low-income home buyers who got in over their heads, people who ran up too much credit-card debt, and government interference with free markets. Instead, readers will discover how Wall Street undermined itself and the rest of the economy by playing and losing at a highly lucrative and dangerous game of fantasy finance.

He also asks some tough questions:

  • Why did Americans let the gap between workers' wages and executive compensation grow so large?
  • Why did we fail to realize that the excess money in those executives' pockets was fueling casino-style investment schemes?
  • Why did we buy the notion that too-good-to-be-true financial products that no one could even understand would somehow form the backbone of America's new, postindustrial economy?
  • How do we make sure we never give our wages away to gamblers again?
  • And what can we do to get our money back?

In this page-turning narrative (no background in finance required) Leopold tells the story of how we fell victim to Wall Street's exotic financial products. Readers learn how even school districts were taken in by "innovative" products like collateralized debt obligations, better known as CDOs, and how they sucked trillions of dollars from the global economy when they failed. They'll also learn what average Americans can do to ensure that fantasy finance never rules our economy again.

As the country teeters on the brink of what could be the next Great Depression, we should be especially wary of the so-called financial experts who got us here, and then conveniently got themselves out. So far, it appears they've won the battle, but The Looting of America refuses to let them write the history--or plan its aftermath.

Available in: eBook

Read More

The Looting of America

Les Leopold

eBook $14.95

The Zero Waste Solution

The Zero Waste Solution

By Paul Connett

Waste is something we all make every day but often pay little attention to.  That's changing, and model programs around the globe show the many different ways a community can strive for, and achieve, zero-waste status.

Scientist-turned-activist Paul Connett, a leading international figure in decades-long battles to fight pollution, has championed efforts to curtail overconsumption and keep industrial toxins out of our air and drinking water and bodies. But he’s best known around the world for leading efforts to help communities deal with their waste in sustainable ways—in other words, to eliminate and reuse waste rather than burn it or stow it away in landfills.

In The Zero Waste Solution, Connett profiles the most successful zero-waste initiatives around the world, showing activists, planners, and entrepreneurs how to re-envision their community’s waste-handling process—by consuming less, turning organic waste into compost, recycling, reusing other waste,  demanding nonwasteful product design, and creating jobs and bringing community members together in the process. The book also exposes the greenwashing behind renewed efforts to promote waste incinerators as safe, nontoxic energy suppliers, and gives detailed information on how communities can battle incineration projects that, even at their best, emit dangerous particles into the atmosphere, many of which remain unregulated or poorly regulated.

An important toolkit for anyone interested in creating sustainable communities, generating secure local jobs, and keeping toxic alternatives at bay.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

Read More

The Zero Waste Solution

Paul Connett, Jeremy Irons

Paperback $24.95

Born on Third Base

Born on Third Base

By Chuck Collins

As inequality grabs headlines, steals the show in presidential debates, and drives deep divides between the haves and have nots in America, class war brews. On one side, the wealthy wield power and advantage, wittingly or not, to keep the system operating in their favor—all while retreating into enclaves that separate them further and further from the poor and working class. On the other side, those who find it increasingly difficult to keep up or get ahead lash out—waging a rhetorical war against the rich and letting anger and resentment, however justifiable, keep us from seeing new potential solutions.

But can we suspend both class wars long enough to consider a new way forward? Is it really good for anyone that most of society’s wealth is pooling at the very top of the wealth ladder? Does anyone, including the one percent, really want to live in a society plagued by economic apartheid?

It is time to think differently, says longtime inequality expert and activist Chuck Collins. Born into the one percent, Collins gave away his inheritance at 26 and spent the next three decades mobilizing against inequality. He uses his perspective from both sides of the divide to deliver a new narrative.

Collins calls for a ceasefire and invites the wealthy to come back home, investing themselves and their wealth in struggling communities.  And he asks the non-wealthy to build alliances with the one percent and others at the top of the wealth ladder.

Stories told along the way explore the roots of advantage, show how taxpayers subsidize the wealthy, and reveal how charity, used incorrectly, can actually reinforce extreme inequality. Readers meet pioneers who are crossing the divide to work together in new ways, including residents in the author’s own Boston-area neighborhood who have launched some of the most interesting community transition efforts in the nation.

In the end, Collins’s national and local solutions not only challenge inequality but also respond to climate change and offer an unexpected, fresh take on one of our most intransigent problems.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

Read More

Born on Third Base

Chuck Collins, Morris Pearl

Paperback $17.95