“When is enough enough?” Bernie Sanders asked during his filibuster against the Lame Duck tax bill in December. During the speech, he referred to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, two of the world’s richest three people. (If you haven’t been paying attention, they’ve been pushed down to the number two and three spots by Carlos Slim Helu, the Mexican telecom tycoon who is now worth $53.5 billion.)
The reference to Gates and Buffett in a speech about Enough was a result of their project called the Giving Pledge, which encourages billionaires to give away more than half their wealth. And while this may not seem immediately relevant to life in the hills of Hardwick or the dales of Dorset, it raises important questions about the meaning of Enough, about ways in which we might, as a society, secede from the cult of He Who Dies With The Most Toys Wins and, maybe, just maybe, about ways to put back into the soil—the soil of the restorative economy and the actual soil—what we take out. Read more
More and more individuals, foundations, and other institutions are showing an interest in investing capital in food companies that address social and/or environmental issues, a phenomenon both mirrored and encouraged by a growing number of conferences, panels, workshops, and even entire organizations dedicated to the field. At first glance all this activity might seem like great news–but if we dig a little deeper, there are some hidden impacts that good food advocates would be wise to examine a little more closely. I challenge all of us to begin to recognize and acknowledge the differences inherent amongst food system investors, entrepreneurs, and the organizations, events, and capital tools that serve them) in an effort to make appropriate connections between them. Read more
One way of improving the United States food system has more to do with business practices than it has to do with food.
The now-popular idea of corporate social responsibility (CSR) dictates that businesses should take it upon themselves to forgo profits their shareholders demand so they can address social problems. But, as Aneel Karnani posits in a recent essay in the Wall Street Journal, the reasoning behind CSR is flawed. Publicly traded companies, including those that produce the lion’s share of our food, are required by law to prioritize maximizing profits to satisfy their shareholders, who are generally taken to desire profit above all else. Read more
Folks across the country know something is wrong. There’s just something about the system we’ve created over several decades that is inherently flawed. Some blame the government, others big banks, still others blame political parties, but all agree that there’s something that’s just not quite working the way it should. People are losing homes, jobs, and health coverage at an alarming rate because of the societal turbulence in the enormous yet formless thing we call the economy.
Enter Change.org and their 10 Ideas for Change in America. Read more