Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone is not enough to produce widely shared prosperity.
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Sim Commons

Peter Barnes: Capitalism 3.0 — Chapter 9: Building the Commons Sector (pages 135-154)

My sons play a computer game called Sim City. It’s a brilliant invention that lets you design, grow, and govern your own virtual metropolis. You plunk down streets, sewers, power systems, and subways. You zone for commerce, industry, and residences. You drop in schools, hospitals, and fire stations. Soon a city comes to life. It’s enough to engross kids for hours.

Now imagine an adult game called Sim Commons that lets you design and grow your own virtual economic sector. The object of the game is to produce the most happiness with the least destruction of nature. You plunk down commons trusts, and from simple menus you assign them property rights, ownership regimes, and management algorithms. As you play, the computer displays your happiness and nature scores. Through trial and error, you learn what combinations of moves work best.

In the real world, building a new commons sector will be something like that. While we wait for an historic shift at the national level, we can build and experiment at lower levels. We can test different kinds of trusts, nonprofits, and informal associations, seeing how closely they can hew to commons principles. Then, when history is ready for bigger changes, we’ll be ready too. ... read the whole chapter




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Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone hasn't yet led to a society in which all can prosper