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Chelsea Green Blog

Robert Kuttner: Get Rid of the Toxic Executives!

The first Bush/Paulson/Pelosi bailout plan to come before Congress was defeated. Wall Street reacted, the Dow plunged, world markets trembled, and we now face a financial future that can at best be described as uncertain. With the elections a few weeks away, no one—Democrat or Republican—wanted to vote for a bill that was perceived by many as giving a helping hand up to the man from Wall Street while stepping on the face of the man from Main Street. With their jobs at stake, a majority of Representatives killed a bill that may have been the only feasible option out of this mess. The Republican leadership wasn’t there, and you could have bet the Democrats weren’t going to go all in without significant support from the GOP. So it failed. But if we can put aside the predictions of gloom and doom (Financial Pearl Harbor? Great Depression II? Financial Armageddon?) for just a moment, the Republicans may have actually done us a favor. Economist and author Robert Kuttner (Obama’s Challenge: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency) spoke to host Neal Conan on NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday as the vote was transpiring. They actually get the news of the bill’s defeat in the middle of the interview (at around 05:30), as the vote closed. Now that we have the chance to take another crack at it, one thing that we absolutely must have, says Kuttner, is “direct government refinancing of home mortgages” a la the Homeowners Loan Corporation, created under F.D.R.’s New Deal. And, Kuttner goes on, “instead of having government simply buy up toxic securities, and get the toxic securities off the books of these banks, you need to get rid of the toxic executives.” Listen to the entire program here.


Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..

Books in the News: ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ & More!

What does Taoism have to do with gardening? That question is being answered in The Washington Post this week with a lengthy profile of Chelsea Green author Carol Deppe—gardener, plant breeder, seed expert, and geneticist based in Oregon—and her new book The Tao of Vegetable Gardening. “Once I read The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, with its […] Read More..

Depressed about Climate Change? Good. Here’s How to Take Action

The facts about climate change are settled. Mostly. In fact, the news seems to get worse, and more urgent, every day. Yet, the more the facts stack up, the less resolve many people seem to have about getting behind solutions that will stem, or turn, the tide. What gives? In What We Think About When […] Read More..