In his talk co-hosted by the Schumacher Center and by the American Institute for Economic Research, Peter Barnes avers that we are no longer in the Holocene epoch, but in the Anthropocene epoch, an era in which humans are “a, if not the, dominant geological force on our planet,” and thus we cannot continue with business as usual. Barnes argues that the best means to achieve the goal of an economic system that provides an adequate income for all and functions in harmony with nature is “to ‘propertize’ some common wealth and share the income from that wealth equally.” Through the institutionalization of a common wealth trusts – legal entities that would represent nature, future generations, and society – economic externalities, such as pollution, would effectively be internalized and reflected in the price of the good. The compensation that these trusts would derive from the monetization of externalities could then be used to mitigate income inequality.
Related LecturesEconomics for the Anthropocene
Capitalism, the Commons, and Divine Right
Peter Barnes is an entrepreneur and writer who has co-founded and led several successful businesses and written numerous articles and books about capitalism, the commons and other topics. His latest book, With Liberty and Dividends for All: How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don’t Pay Enough, proposes universal dividends from shared wealth as a … Continued