Six years ago, the global economy nearly collapsed. Now big corporations and the wealthy are recovering well. But that’s not the case for the vast majority of Americans: according to calculations by author Les Leopold, the richest 7% gained $5.6tn net assets from 2009 to 2011, while the remaining 93% lost a combined total of $669bn.
Americans are not content with this state of affairs. According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center (pdf), 62% believe the dominant economic system favors the powerful, while 78% believe too much power is concentrated in the hands of a few large companies.
This enormous economic divide is just one reason people are losing patience with the corporate economy – and why many are turning to initiatives that build a new economy. Grassroots groups, local entrepreneurs and broad-based coalitions are building the foundations of an economy that distributes economic benefits widely and minimizes damage to the environment.
Here are six big shifts:
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