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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More

Born on Third Base

Chuck Collins, Morris Pearl

Paperback $17.95

Farms with a Future

Farms with a Future

By Rebecca Thistlethwaite

What makes a farm sustainable and successful? And what special qualities and skills are needed for someone to become a successful farmer?

Rebecca Thistlethwaite addresses these and other crucial questions in this uniquely important book, which is a must-read for anyone who aspires to get into farming, or who wants to make their farm business more dynamic, profitable, and, above all, sustainable. Over an entire year, the author and her husband-experienced farmers themselves-took a sabbatical and traveled the length and breadth of the United States to live and work alongside some of the nation's most innovative farmers. Along the way they learned about best practices, and a whole lot about what doesn't work.

Farms with a Future shares this collective wisdom in an inspirational yet practical manner; it will help beginners avoid many of the common mistakes that first-time farmers make. Just as importantly, it discusses positive ideas that can help make any farm enterprise vibrant and financially profitable. Profiles of more than a dozen representative farms help round out the invaluable information and encourage farmers to embrace their inner entrepreneur. Younger growers, in particular, will benefit by learning about "the right stuff" from both their peers and longtime experts.This book provides a useful reference for beginning and experienced farmers alike. While many other books address agricultural production, there are very few that talk about business management for long-term sustainability. Farms with a Future offers an approachable, colorful take on building a triple-bottom-line farming business.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Farms with a Future

Rebecca Thistlethwaite, Richard Wiswall

Paperback $29.95

Rebuilding the Foodshed

Rebuilding the Foodshed

By Philip Ackerman-Leist

Droves of people have turned to local food as a way to retreat from our broken industrial food system. From rural outposts to city streets, they are sowing, growing, selling, and eating food produced close to home—and they are crying out for agricultural reform. All this has made "local food" into everything from a movement buzzword to the newest darling of food trendsters.

But now it's time to take the conversation to the next level. That's exactly what Philip Ackerman-Leist does in Rebuilding the Foodshed, in which he refocuses the local-food lens on the broad issue of rebuilding regional food systems that can replace the destructive aspects of industrial agriculture, meet food demands affordably and sustainably, and be resilient enough to endure potentially rough times ahead.

Changing our foodscapes raises a host of questions. How far away is local? How do you decide the size and geography of a regional foodshed? How do you tackle tough issues that plague food systems large and small—issues like inefficient transportation, high energy demands, and rampant food waste? How do you grow what you need with minimum environmental impact? And how do you create a foodshed that's resilient enough if fuel grows scarce, weather gets more severe, and traditional supply chains are hampered?

Showcasing some of the most promising, replicable models for growing, processing, and distributing sustainably grown food, this book points the reader toward the next stages of the food revolution. It also covers the full landscape of the burgeoning local-food movement, from rural to suburban to urban, and from backyard gardens to large-scale food enterprises.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Rebuilding the Foodshed

Philip Ackerman-Leist, Deborah Madison

Paperback $19.95

Javatrekker

Javatrekker

By Dean Cycon

In each cup of coffee we drink the major issues of the twenty-first century-globalization, immigration, women's rights, pollution, indigenous rights, and self-determination-are played out in villages and remote areas around the world. In Javatrekker: Dispatches from the World of Fair Trade Coffee, a unique hybrid of Fair Trade business, adventure travel, and cultural anthropology, author Dean Cycon brings readers face-to-face with the real people who make our morning coffee ritual possible.

Second only to oil in terms of its value, the coffee trade is complex with several levels of middlemen removing the 28 million growers in fifty distant countries far from you and your morning cup. And, according to Cycon, 99 percent of the people involved in the coffee economy have never been to a coffee village. They let advertising and images from the major coffee companies create their worldview.

Cycon changes that in this compelling book, taking the reader on a tour of ten countries in nine chapters through his passionate eye and unique perspective. Cycon, who is himself an amalgam-equal parts entrepreneur, activist, and mischievous explorer-has traveled extensively throughout the world's tropical coffeelands, and shows readers places and people that few if any outsiders have ever seen. Along the way, readers come to realize the promise and hope offered by sustainable business principles and the products derived from cooperation, fair pricing, and profit sharing.

Cycon introduces us to the Mamos of Colombia-holy men who believe they are literally holding the world together-despite the severe effects of climate change caused by us, their "younger brothers." He takes us on a trip through an ancient forest in Ethiopia where many believe that coffee was first discovered 1,500 years ago by the goatherd Kaldi and his animals. And readers learn of Mexico's infamous Death Train, which transported countless immigrants from Central America northward to the U.S. border, but took a horrifying toll in lost lives and limbs.
Rich with stories of people, landscapes, and customs, Javatrekker offers a deep appreciation and understanding of the global trade and culture of coffee.

In each cup of coffee we drink the major issues of the twenty-first century-globalization, immigration, women's rights, pollution, indigenous rights, and self-determination-are played out in villages and remote areas around the world.


What is Fair Trade Coffee?
Coffee prices paid to the farmer are based on the international commodity price for coffee (the "C" price) and the quality premium each farmer negotiates. Fair Trade provides an internationally determined minimum floor price when the C plus premium sinks below $1.26 per pound for conventional and $1.41 for organics (that's us!). As important as price, Fair Trade works with small farmers to create democratic cooperatives that insure fair dealing, accountability and transparency in trade transactions. In an industry where the farmer is traditionally ripped off by a host of middlemen, this is tremendously important.

Cooperatives are examined by the Fairtrade Labeling Organization (FLO), or the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT), European NGOs, for democratic process and transparency. Those that pass are listed on the FLO Registry or become IFAT members. Cooperatives provide important resources and organization to small farmers in the form of technical assistance for crop and harvest improvement, efficiencies in processing and shipping, strength in negotiation and an array of needed social services, such as health care and credit. Fair Trade also requires pre-financing of up to sixty percent of the value of the contract, if the farmers ask for it. Several groups, such as Ecologic and Green Development Fund have created funds for pre-finance lending.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Javatrekker

Dean Cycon

Paperback $24.95