If You Don’t Like Capitalism, and You Don’t Like Socialism, What Do You Want?

If You Don’t Like Capitalism, and You Don’t Like Socialism, What Do You Want?

The Possibility of a Pluralist Commonwealth and a Community Sustaining Economy



It is increasingly obvious that the United States faces systemic problems. Income and wealth disparities have become severe and corrosive of democratic possibilities. Unemployment, poverty, and environmental challenges deepen day by day. Corporate power now dominates decision-making through lobbying, uncontrolled contributions, and political advertising. The planet itself is threatened by global warming. The lives of millions are compromised by economic and social pain. Our communities are in decay.

Is there any way forward?

In this accessible introduction, Gar Alperovitz and Steve Dubb outline the principles of an emerging alternative system, one based on projects emerging all across America which democratize wealth, decentralize power, rebuild communities, and help create a sustainable future.

Read for free online

Gar Alperovitz is a historian and political economist and the author of America Beyond Capitalism. He is the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, and the co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative.

Steve Dubb is the research director at the Democracy Collaborative.

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  • Macrocompassion

    What I Want to See – Land Value Taxation, because..
    Its not Money but Opportunity that is Lacking Speculation in land values causes useful land to be withheld, which drives up prices and stops opportunity. Problem is solved by taxing land values instead of earnings. 14 ASPECTS OF Land Value Taxation Adds to the national income. Costs less to collect than other production-based taxes. Stabilizes the macro-economy, stops the 18 year housing boom/bust cycle. Is progressive , owners pay tax in proportion to the site value. Owners pay regardless of how land is used. When leased to tenants the resulting ground-rent is the tax. Stops speculation in land prices. Withholding land from proper use is too costly. Reduces the sales price of sites, although their value (usefulness) may continue to grow. Land owners are unable to pass the tax to their tenant renters, due to less competition for land use. Speculators in land values will want to foreclose on mortgages and withdraw money for re-investment. LVT to be introduced gradually, allowing investors time to transfer money to company-shares, where the expansion will meet the increased demand. Causes incentive to use land for production, rather than it lying idle or being partly used. Causes greater working opportunities to exist due to cheaper land and a greater number of available sites. Consumer goods cheapen since entrepreneurs have less difficulty in starting and running their businesses. Demand grows, unemployment drops. Investment is withdrawn from land and placed in durable capital goods. The collection of taxes from productive effort and commerce is socially unjust. LVT replaces this extortion by gathering the surplus rental income which comes without exertion. It is a natural system. Bribery and corruption cease. Before, this was due to the leaking of news of municipal plans for housing development.