My Early Experience of the Gift Economy

I grew up in a small midwestern town, the oldest of four children. When I was ten, my dad lost his job. He wasn’t able to get back to work (beyond some random day-time construction jobs) for three years. During that time, my family struggled financially to make ends meet. I was old enough toContinue reading “My Early Experience of the Gift Economy”

The Problem We All Live With

  The image above is a painting by Norman Rockwell titled “The Problem We All Live With”. It’s a portrait of Ruby Bridges, a 6-year-old girl that had to be escorted by US Marshals into her newly desegregated elementary school in 1960. A white mob threw things at her and screamed threats and racial slurs.Continue reading “The Problem We All Live With”

A DNA Economy: Bodies, Violence, Inheritance

We are living through a change in change. Not merely a shift in structure from one superpower to multiple, but a far deeper one from a state-based order to a multi-actor system. The ancient world of disjointed empires gave way to the disorderly medieval world, followed by the modern order of sovereign states, and nowContinue reading “A DNA Economy: Bodies, Violence, Inheritance”

A model of logic in the realm of wonder…Can it be done?

In many regards, I was raised in and engaged in a communal culture and experienced first-hand the abundance created through the sharing of resources, ideas, sufferings, and joys of those around me. Diversity, inclusion, mutual care are all values that from a very early age were instilled in both my understanding of and engagement inContinue reading “A model of logic in the realm of wonder…Can it be done?”

From Downward Mobility to Interdependence

Where I find myself right now I grew up in Catholic social justice circles and Dean Brackley, SJ (NYT, NCR) was one of our saints. I started reading his book, The Call to Discernment in Troubled Times, when I was a teenager after returning from a summer in El Salvador. I was intrigued by whatContinue reading “From Downward Mobility to Interdependence”

Frederick Douglass, The De Porres Club, John Lewis, Romero, and the Anti-Apartheid Network: Change through all of the above

I am aware of the profound inheritance of my social location and identity: white, cisgender male, straight, able-bodied, born Christian/Catholic, born middle class, etc. I am the only boy with three older, very intelligent sisters. My middle school teacher father and RN mother expected us all to go to college – it wasn’t a matter of ifContinue reading “Frederick Douglass, The De Porres Club, John Lewis, Romero, and the Anti-Apartheid Network: Change through all of the above”

In Search of Teams, Spaces

Project Post #1: My Economy Story Part I: My inheritance has consisted partly, I think, of my father’s amiability, his knack for politics, and for connecting with people, traits he used as a small town politician (elected to the Texas state legislature twice). I suppose another part is that my sisters and I grew upContinue reading “In Search of Teams, Spaces”

When someone gets it.

From the reading I feel like our organization, The Industrial Commons, aligns with all three. Much of our work with launching and incubating cooperatives is the alternatives slice of the pie; however, we also work to change dominant institutions and our work also implements personal transformation – particularly with our staff. It is in theContinue reading “When someone gets it.”

It’s not always about hard work.

For a long time after college in my early work years I often thought that hard work was what propelled me forward, what earned me opportunities and put me in a position to move ahead in my career. That is partly true; however, many many people in America today work extremely hard and will neverContinue reading “It’s not always about hard work.”

Big Catholic Families, Al Gore, Goats, and Labor Exploitation

When my wife and I got married she was always amazed at how few preferences I had.  She jokes that I would be happy sleeping in a field with a rock as a pillow. I credit that to growing up in a big Catholic family.  There was simply no time or money to deal withContinue reading “Big Catholic Families, Al Gore, Goats, and Labor Exploitation”

Collective care is the future

Photo credit to Angela Faz When I think of my family history, I realize they are the foundation of my dedication to cooperative economics. My mother and her sisters all lived within six blocks of each other and raised their families as a little village. I have memories of my mother and her sisters sittingContinue reading “Collective care is the future”

Dale’s Behavioral Economics & 4th Industrial Revolution

As I think about my inheritance, it’s only reasonable to start with the elephant in the room and acknowledge my white privilege. When I was a child and a young person, I didn’t fully understand the ramifications of that inheritance, but fortunately with time, training, and education, I’m fully aware and passionate about helping changeContinue reading “Dale’s Behavioral Economics & 4th Industrial Revolution”

Bill Clinton and the Bondholders

Bill Clinton entered the White House in January 1993 with an ambitious plan of social programs including the reform of the healthcare system to provide universal coverage. Robert Rubin, a Goldman Sachs boy, joined the Clinton administration as Assistant to the President on Economic policy. After learning of Bill Clinton’s progressive social agenda he simplyContinue reading “Bill Clinton and the Bondholders”

Toward an Economy of Love; Inheriting a Faith that Does Justice

Project Post – Week 1 Part 1 My street, Gordon Drive, was special. All the parents were friends, all the kids walked together  to our local Catholic parish school, Holy Family. Most families participated in Christian Family Movement (CFM) groups, and my parents were even the “President Couple” for our diocese. Dad was a quietContinue reading “Toward an Economy of Love; Inheriting a Faith that Does Justice”

It wasn’t enough

I’m a pragmatist, committed to economic justice and I have worked to change the economy by doing different things for 40 years. Looking at the theory of change models I realize that I have been involved in a number of different strategies. I have been creating, supporting and investing in alternative models like cooperatives, communityContinue reading “It wasn’t enough”

Plenty to say, no time to say it

Elections are my world right now; I work to change dominant institutions and somehow have become very good at it. My earliest memories are sitting under tables in union halls and precinct counting rooms in Chicago. My father was the baby brother to two (count them – two) aldermen and he ran their errands onContinue reading “Plenty to say, no time to say it”