Growing Our Common Wealth™
by Commonomics Media Team on March 31st, 2016

​Materializing Empathy: Cooperative Law and Economics

April 16, 2016
10AM Pacific
1PM Eastern

Commonomics USA and the Materialized Empathy project are pleased to present this webinar by Ma'ikwe Ludwig and Matt Stannard. 

The webinar includes a special presentation by Tawana Petty, Detroit-based poet, author, organizer, and board member of Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, past recipient of the Spirit of Detroit Award, Woman of Substance Award, Women Creating Caring Communities Award, and was recognized as one of Who’s Who in Black Detroit

The webinar will take place Saturday April 16, 2016, at 10AM Pacific/1PM Eastern time. If you can't attend the webinar live, your registration (see below) will get you a permanent link to the archived presentation.


The real answer to the economic insecurity, environmental degradation, and political brutality of our time is building communities and networks of sustainable, cooperative economic justice. Many groups are doing that right now. How can we make that easier for everyone? 

Commonomics USA will discuss the Materialized Empathy project's three-point policy agenda: 

1. Making cooperative and sustainable living easier through legal and policy reform 

2, Democratizing our financial systems 

3. Providing immediate relief from economic insecurity (with emphasis on empathetic policymaking for a post-carbon transition)

Your Hosts

Ma'ikwe Ludwig is executive director at the Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture, on the board of directors of the Fellowship for Intentional Community, the sustainable communities director of Commonomics USA's Materialized Empathy project, and a leading authority on community responses to climate change. 

Matt Stannard is policy director for Commonomics USA and a longtime economic justice advocate, on the board of directors of the Public Banking Institute, and has provided economic and legal advocacy support for victims of violence and economic insecurity in the U.S. and abroad. 

How to Attend

Cost of the webinar is $10 per connection (unlimited attendees per connection). Please invite people to watch with you. 

Please register by emailing and pay by making a one-time donation of $10 to Commonomics USA at
We will then send you the electronic invitation to the presentation. 

by Commonomics Media Team on March 4th, 2016

On March 4, 2016, Commonomics USA's Policy Director, Matt Stannard, hosted a beginners' discussion on Basic Income. You can watch it on YouTube here

Here are the notes Matt used in the presentation, along with a few articles listed at the bottom for further reading (though not even close to a comprehensive list of articles). 


The question of how communities produce and distribute material well-being is a deeply intimate question. Our economy is our shared materiality. It influences our personal relationships, our self-care, our social care.
There are tendencies in our economy that are in tension: On the one hand, we extract and exploit--from the earth and from each other. On the other hand, we cooperate. We're capable of acts and projects of collective greatness.
But too many of our laws favor the extraction and exploitation tendency over the cooperative.
The solutions to that imbalance are not necessarily "left" or "right" solutions. They do tend to be local solutions, but there are a couple of issues that need to be resolved at a larger level, and we believe the question of universal income is a national issue--if not a global issue. The reason, as a few of my esteemed colleagues at Commonomics USA have reminded me, is that implementing basic support in one community, or state, would likely cause regional imbalances and disruptive migration to places where support was available. Not always--but something as significant as the implementation of basic support income would surely have a significant effect on migration.
I think that while we can debate about what it looks like, how universal it should actually be, and where it comes from, I believe basic income is an important consideration because it would reflect an acknowledgement of our shared materiality.
For decades now, well-funded think tanks of individualism have been telling us we don't really share this planet, and that our fates are really not bound together materially. Of course, we disagree with that and we believe science, economics, philosophy and religion are all pushing us strongly in the opposite direction.
The disproportionate effect of global climate change and our invariably inequitable responses to it also raise questions of social support, and dividends, which of course is the key proposal of the Citizens' Climate Lobby. A carbon fee and dividend is a cousin of the basic income proposal. I think that synthesis is worth paying attention to, and I'd love for those movements to dialogue and converge.
I will inevitably leave some things out of this presentation. 
There is Unconditional Basic Income (or Universal Basic Income): All residents (under some proposals only citizens) receive an unconditional sum of money from public institutions.
There is Social Dividend: Everyone receives a regular payout from a profitable activity the government facilitates and/or benefits from. Alaska does this. A carbon fee and dividend system would do this.
There is Guaranteed Minimum Income: Means-tested regular financial support.
There is a Negative Income Tax: a progressive income tax system where people earning below a certain amount receive supplemental pay from the government instead of paying taxes to the government.
                --Milton Friedman’s famous negative income tax. Under that proposal, people with no earned income would receive a refundable tax credit, or “negative tax,” sufficient to live on. As their income rose, the amount of the credit would fall by some set percentage of earned income. Once the credit fell to zero, they would start paying pay income tax on any additional earnings.
There are Dedicated Citizen Accounts, starting savings accounts when you're born and giving them to you when you reach legal age.
The argument for a basic income over a guaranteed minimum income is: The lack of means test or similar administration would allow for some saving on social welfare which could be put towards the grant.
In 2016 Switzerland will hold a referendum on a proposal to provide every citizen with an unconditional grant of 2,500 Swiss francs a month (about $2,800).

Health of all kinds: The most sweeping, and often least discussed benefit is the value generated through improved individual, environmental, and community health. Poverty makes us sick, decreases productivity and creativity, makes us die sooner, etc. The other day I wrote something that resonated with a lot of people when I posted it. It was:
"If you're poor, you die earlier, live an exponentially more stressful life, spend more money on everyday necessities, often have untreated mental illness, are more likely to be abused by a partner, are less likely to be able to escape that abusive partner, face public service discrimination, lack access to cheap financial services, are forced to eat really unhealthy food rather than not eat at all, can't survive a $500 emergency, probably will die before you retire, are surrounded by toxins and pollutants, lack access to basic legal services and thus more likely to get hurt by courts, cops, landlords and bosses, and can't afford to engage in the very political process that makes it easier for all that horrible shit to happen to you."
The reversal of those facts wouldn't just be MORAL goods, but would also be material, economic, health, quality of life goods. It would make society more "competitive" in the good ways.
But this doesn't lead automatically to UBI. It may be possible to eliminate poverty without it. As we continue the discussion, listen for the ways in which the universality of basic income may or may not be necessary to solve the particular problems it purports to solve.
But also, listen for the ways in which the FAILURE to make basic income universal undermines its effectiveness--including in the area most often argued against public wealth distribution, which is incentives.
But the reason we need to include those health and Q of L indicators is that conventional economists tend to individualize the value of income distribution. The social benefits or deficits of income CAN be measured. All measurement is arbitrary and incomplete by nature, but nevertheless articulates something.
The Progressive, Social Democratic and Socialist Case:
I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this. Thomas Paine favored basic income--capital grants at the age of majority
Why? He had very solid philosophical reasons for doing so. They had to do with the social nature of wealth and the commons. He wrote:
"Poverty . . . is a thing created by that which is called civilized life. It exists not in the natural state. On the other hand, the natural state is without those advantages which flow from agriculture, arts, science and manufactures."
"It is a position not to be controverted that the earth, in its natural, cultivated state was, and ever would have continued to be, the common property of the human race."
Of course, many would rightly object to conceiving the commons of the earth as everyone's PROPERTY, and a better conception is to simply say that the commons is the source of all our "providence" or sustanance, and wealth, and that we are part of that system--the natural part of it, and the parts we build out of it. That reconception doesn't change Paine's point--it may even strengthen it.
Feminist economist Ailsa McKay argued for a basic income as "a tool for promoting gender-neutral social citizenship rights."
The Conservative Case:
As Noah Gordon pointed out two years ago, smart conservatives already favor efficiency and decentralization of benefits rather than their outright elimination, even if for some, the former is a stalking horse for the latter. But if we take them at their word, Noah Gordon says this:
"Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s plan would move most of America’s existing welfare funding into a single “flex-fund” to be disbursed to the states. Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, partly inspired by the “universal credit” reforms of Britain’s Conservative government, proposes allowing states to combine different forms of federal anti-poverty funding—food stamps, housing assistance, and more—into a single funding stream." 
"Friederich Hayek endorsed it. In 1962, the libertarian economist Milton Friedman advocated a minimum guaranteed income via a “negative income tax.” In 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.” Richard Nixon unsuccessfully tried to pass a version of Friedman’s plan a few years later, and his Democratic opponent in the 1972 presidential election, George McGovern, also suggested a guaranteed annual income."
"in a 2006 book, conservative intellectual Charles Murray proposed eliminating all welfare transfer programs, including Social Security and Medicare, and substituting an annual $10,000 cash grant to everyone 21 years and older."
Of course such plans would decrease bureaucracy and the expense of means-testing, behavioral enforcement, etc.
As one comment on an article said: "For libertarians, it may be a wedge to hammer home a a more free and competitive market in the future."
The Case According to Technology:
In the Financial Times in February 2014, Martin Wolf has contemplated a guaranteed income’s ability to help society adjust to the disappearance of low-skill, low-wage jobs.
According to Nathan Schneider at Vice: "The idea of basic income has been appearing among the tech-bro elite a lot lately. Mega-investor and Netscape creator Marc Andreessen recently told New York magazine that he considers it "a very interesting idea," and Sam Altman of the boutique incubator Y Combinator calls its implementation an "obvious conclusion." Albert Wenger, a New York–based venture capitalist at Union Square Ventures, has been blogging about basic income since 2013. He's worried about the clever apps his company is funding, which do things like teach languages and hail cars, displacing jobs with every download.
"We are at the beginning of the time where machines will do a lot of the things humans have traditionally done," Wenger told me in October. "How do you avoid a massive bifurcation of society into those who have wealth and those who don't?"
The Case Against Work:
Our work norms are held up as natural, normal, the norm, heaven-sent, sensible, universal and ahistorical. We are expected to work. But as automation suggests, as the evolution of work hours and battles over work hours suggest, work is not a fixed and uncontested concept.
Given the coming impacts of climate change, the need to shift the way we operate major industrial and economic sectors, the possibility of a shift to local production, on top of automation, which can be scaled and localized as well, a 40 to 30 or even 20 hour work week is feasible.

This also interacts in interesting ways with the incentives debate. A materially EMPATHETIC approach to policy would probably re-frame incentives as a focal point of discussion. Saying that "aid decreases incentives" is not a morally neutral statement.
The extraction-and-exploitation economy will want to find ways to keep people working even beyond the social utility of it, of course, because that produces surplus value and profit.
Basic income serves as a normative and material check on that: It means people don't have to stay in work situations they don't want, and it sends a message that working is not a prerequisite virtue for moral consideration.
The "It's Better than the Status Quo" Case:
Existing support policies in the United States don't work. Ed Dolan, citing research from, among others, my buddy Elaine Maag, concludes:
"In short, the existing income support system of the United States seems to combine some of the worst features of the stylized alternatives that we illustrated earlier. They are not fully effective; despite their considerable cost, they leave some 16 percent of the population below the official poverty threshold. They are not tightly targeted. In an effort to maintain work incentives, many of them provide benefits to households well above the poverty level. Nonetheless, because of the additive nature of benefit reduction rates for multiple programs, many households, especially those just above and below the poverty level, face cliffs and high effective marginal tax rates that undermine incentives to work. Finally, the complexity of many programs, each run by its own bureaucracy, results in very high administrative expense."
Affordability: Ed Dolan estimates that "Providing a grant to each individual that was sufficient to bring a family of three above our assumed $20,000 poverty line would require payments or tax credits totaling roughly 10 percent of GDP."

But it would likely replace existing programs, and as we will discuss in a few minutes, it could be facilitated through quantitative easing or other monetary policy that would be creative rather than redistributive. Also, there are some tax-based ways of providing it.
Incentives: People need the threat of economic insecurity to work hard (because that's the only logical form of the incentives argument at this level--people will still be rewarded for harder work)

But Ed Dolan writes:
"[Basic Income] would provide substantial work incentives. Because there is no reduction of benefits as earned income rises, it would avoid the problems of cliffs and high effective marginal tax rates for low-income households and second earners. (For readers familiar with the economic terms, a UBI would have an “income effect” on labor supply but no “substitution effect,” unlike current income support programs, which typically have both.)"
Redistribution is immoral or undesirable
No political will: But that is changing
Inflation: Not really how inflation works, and pulling people away from the kind of economic insecurity that makes them not spend any money will not be inflationary--or at least not hyperinflationary. I would refer everyone to Ellen Brown on these questions, and to the debate that's occurring over in Britain as the impending future Labour government of Jeremy Corbyn considers "quantitative easing for the people."
Remember, finally, that most of the arguments against UBI are arguments against most other types of support.
Taxation: Limited by political will, but is the basis for experiments in various countries.
Land Value Tax: Potentially huge. The key is the political plan to get there, which may or may not encounter a special quality of resistance from the elites, since the Georgists are right about the way land ownership locks value and growth into the hands of very few.
Democratization of money: use of the creation process of money and value in the service of basic income distribution
Community Implementation: I said at the beginning of this discussion that many people argue basic income must be universal because of migration. There are nevertheless many reasons to believe that in INTENTIONAL COMMUNITIES, some of which already share income, a basic income schema could be developed, and because intentional communities have the right to approve membership, migration might not be a problem, or integration could be managed. An intentional community could "quantitatively ease" its members through its internal currency, although it would need to do so judiciously. An intentional community could make people pay in and distribute out. An intentional community could implement a "basic material shares" program that was goods-and-services rather than income based, even utilizing time banking and other barter systems that could really only work locally. If you are interested in that conversation, we'd want to schedule something new, with my colleagues Ma'ikwe and Chong Kee involved as well.
Further Reading:

A Brief History of Basic Income Ideas, on the web site

Ed Dolan's three part series in 2014 at EconoMonitor, his blog

Nathan Schneider's Why the Tech Elite Is Getting Behind Universal Basic Income at Vice just over a year ago

Noah Gordon, The Conservative Case for Basic Income in the Atlantic in 2014

by Matt Stannard on February 29th, 2016

​Worried about Trump and right-wing extremism in general? You should be. But however you choose to fight it nationally, the true answer to the fascist worldview is cooperative, sustainable economies and community solidarity.

If I were giving this essay as a sermon at a Unitarian Universalist fellowship, the accompanying children’s story at the beginning of the service would be about fighting back against bullies in a world where everyone feels afraid and insecure, and learning that standing up together not only pushes back the bullies, but eliminates bullying. What does economic justice have to do with bullying, you ask?  


We seek what bell hooks calls “the fierce willingness to repudiate domination in a holistic manner.”
For a year and a half I aided victims of domestic violence in the courtroom asking for injunctions against their abusers and in the “system” asking for resources to gain independence. For the last several months watching Donald Trump and his new loyalist Chris Christie, I’ve noted the spot-on similarity of verbal outbursts of both men and the behavior and abuse patterns of respondents in domestic violence injunction hearings. “Sit down and shut up.” “Are you stupid?” “Beat him up.” “Bomb the shit out of them.” Vulgar sexist jokes. Narcissistic and disproportionate self-justification. Those are words victims, in their petitions, report hearing.
Statistically, the incidents and impacts of domestic abuse cluster most heavily in poverty. I just read another article explaining that link, this one by Helen Nianias at Broadly, a Vice channel. There cannot be too many of these articles written or read. The thesis is that lack of access to material security like rental property worsens domestic abuse, traps victims with their abusers, and exacerbates all interpersonal violence.
And I submit, in all seriousness, that the way domestic violence victims interact with their abusers and our economic system tells us a lot about the real context of Donald Trump’s incipient fascism, and why economic injustice is unjust. For millions, American life and politics are an intersection of trauma, material insecurity, and dependence on abusive systems and people. So now we have public behavior from leading political figures –one who may become president— that would be dispositive in a domestic violence injunction hearing.

We Are Material 

Well, we certainly have some things to deal with now, don’t we? And unfortunately, we don’t make our history any way we please. The other night I picked up my old copy of Marx’s The Poverty of Philosophy, an essay written in response to a certain strain of utopian socialism, but which also contains spot-on criticism of mainstream economics. Grace Lee Boggs, the revolutionary of Detroit who died last year at age 100, read Marx as she read Jesus: urging us, on multiple levels, to shed our fetishization of wealth, seeing a relationship between that fetishization and systems of brutality. My takeaway from The Poverty of Philosophy is that human relationships don’t occur between abstract political subjects, but between human beings immersed in their material conditions. This isn’t hard determinism. It’s simply a humbling reminder that matter exists, we are in it, and we are often overwhelmed by it.
Professional economists tend not to live in or understand that overwhelm.The divisions Marx makes in The Poverty of Philosophy between these mainstream theorists very much resembles the respective economic approaches of the 2016 Republican field, Hillary Clinton’s neoliberal centrism, and Bernie Sanders’s strong redistributivism and old labor politics. Marx writes of the fatalistic conservative economists who see poverty as “the pang which accompanies every childbirth, in nature as in industry” – essentially the economic philosophy of the Republicans, enforced through a combination of now-undead trickle-down economics and apocalyptic Christian exaltation of suffering. He writes of the humanitarians, seeking to ease the pain and conflicts of inequality by calling for concessions and cooperation on both sides—a charitable but fair description of the Clintonian, DNC-guided corporate welfare state. He writes of the philanthropic economists—“den[ying] the necessity of antagonism,” and wishing to turn us all “into bourgeoisie” with no such class conflict at all—a possibility envisioned by Sanders and numerous (but by no means all) “new economy” proponents. A large section of what is now considered left-of-center economic thought now posits that wealth can be used for good, and that we can create structures within the market economy that eliminate involuntary poverty. Almost all of these approaches assume at least a certain amount of good will (or at least cooperation) from the world’s most powerful economic interests. That such good will might be replaced by violent repression (as historically valid as that concern is) does not occur to most humanitarian or philanthropic policy advocates. They should think about it now.
Marx doesn’t stop there, but I will. We don’t need to be “Marxists” to beat back fascism, or build economically just institutions. Sanders’s philanthropic capitalism is not impossible. Nor, even, is Clinton’s capitalism-with-a-human-face (I’m going to ask some tough question about how to achieve sustainability and justice under it, but I’ll listen to the answers). Fighting for those visions is not dishonorable, insincere, or even foolish. Nor are those people foolish who say those fights don’t go far enough and risk too much compromise—those socialists and Greens who raise their heads in interest at the Clinton-Sanders debate, while forging ahead building what they see as a necessary, new politics and economics.
But in what comes from the right, we face a categorical antagonist to any humanistic political economy at all. It is material power reasserting itself as unmoored irrationalism, brutality, and actual interpersonal abuse as politics. How can we adequately respond to that if we have different views of the ultimate good?
Well, we can. 

Close Enough

What is it, anyway?  I’ve read several articles and analyses about fascism over the last twenty years, and several articles and short social media posts recently about whether Trump(ism) is (a) fascist/ism. Perhaps I should be more meticulous, perhaps the characterization is hyperbolic or violates one or another scholars’ demarcations, but such hair-splitting is a luxury for those who have time, and I think we don’t have much. What is happening on the right side of American politics is close enough for me. Jim Wolfrey’s decade-old review of Michael Mann’s Fascists and Robert Paxton’s The Anatomy of Fascism lists what I see as dispositive: simultaneous anger at, and alliances with, economic elites; bedazzlement of power; incapability of conventional political structures to deliver stable social goods; the shifting of “social frustration onto the symbols of nationalism and violence”; a space for racism and sexism through a methodology of interpersonal violence. Such tendencies are fueled by anti-rationalism. There is no need for internal consistency, so Christianity compliments rather than critiques calls for hate. Whatever ideological tools at hand will do. Does it provide visceral satisfaction? Make you feel like it’s okay to feel anger and hate and belonging and pride? It’ll do. And I don’t care what you call it. Our inability to resolve our deepest insecurities, tied together on a beam of economic and social inequality and an extractive, exploitative model of collective life, summons it into being. 

Fighting by Building

Whether the Democrats’ hybrid humanitarian-philanthropic capitalism triumphs over the Republican’s hybrid thugfascist Christian politics of antiempathy is certainly  the defining question of the 2016 presidential election for many. But my concern is how proponents of economic justice and materialized empathy move forward regardless of that outcome. By all means, we should still be active in influencing that outcome, in whatever way our own consciences dictate. But what we actually need to do to create a world where narcissistic billionaires can’t threaten to pull us into their pathetic universes is much more focused and direct. There is a rapidly growing movement for actual economic justice—not mere redistribution, certainly not austerity, but materialized empathy: institutions, laws, and practices that hardwire economic justice, from sustainable and democratic financial practices to provide a material basis for fairness—a basis which, when missing, disempowers us socially and personally, as the sad facts about poor victims of domestic violence illustrates.
And so, when the Berkeley City Council this month joined other cities around the country increasing support for worker-owned cooperatives—tax and land-use incentives, educational programs, devoting city procurement to cooperative businesses, and discounting its bids to make cooperatives more viable in the bidding process—the city not only helped build a sustainable, prosperous, and cooperative economy. In building and incentivizing local economic cooperation, Berkeley also fought fascism.
Materialized Empathy, the Commonomics USA project I direct, assists local leaders and grassroots organizations in building economies of solidarity and security. Many other valuable organizations are engaged in similar efforts. Each local structure we help build makes us stronger opponents of hate and extremism. Commonomics USA also educates Americans about basic income (I’m hosting a live chat about it on March 4) and postal banking, national programs made necessary by the real state of the economy, a perspective miles outside of the Republicans’ ballpark.
Local activism overcomes internal splits too. Tired of your friends in the Sanders and Clinton camps yelling at each other on Facebook? Invite them all to demand public banks in their cities or to shape municipal ordinances supporting community agriculture. Suspicious of the white privilege of many progressives? Study the work of African-American and Latina/o-run cooperative economy projects and intentional communities around the country—and stand in solidarity with them. None of our political standpoints are complete, and none alone can fight the monsters American excess has created. Everyone has a candidate and everyone’s got blueprints. What we need is love—not just in our hearts, but in our policies and—especially—in our economies. That’s how we fight fascism.

In Case I Missed Anything

There is a chance I’ve left something out of this analysis and call to action. If so, unless it says we should be mean to each other, not live sustainably, or not create economically just institutions, it's compatible with what I’ve been trying, however imperfectly, to say. Join us. 
Matt Stannard is policy director at Commonomics USA and director of the Materialized Empathy project. He provides research and communications assistance to the Public Banking Institute, speaks and writes on economic justice, and is the author of Love and Production and The American Commons, both of which will be published in 2016

by Commonomics Media Team on November 19th, 2015

Democratic Socialism Board Game Released
Commonomics USA releases the first in a series of educational board games on Democratic Socialism in America. The “American Commons” board game (National Edition) is a collaborative fast-paced game that pits the player “citizens” against the oligarchy as citizens attempt to arrange pieces of America’s collective wealth into a defined market economy, robust public services, and a protected American Commons. Future editions will be for state and local economies.
Commonomics USA announces the release of the inaugural edition of the American Commons board game. As an educational and entertaining strategy game, it is the only board game on the history of Democratic Socialism in America on the market. It exposes “citizen” players to the rigged economy as they use strategy, skill, and their rights to outmaneuver political corruption. American Commons is designed for two to eight players, age seven and above, and may be played solitarily.
American Commons pits the player “citizens” against the oligarchs, uses no money, and includes gaming elements that encourage collaboration. Each citizen’s turn includes a “dice roll” that is predetermined by the previous citizen’s card draw, if any. “Rights” cards and “Voting” cards are stacked accordingly, with special “Technology Wildcards” included in each deck. Software versions of these decks can be played in lieu of the physical decks that are shipped with the game. These are available online and are included at no cost as part of the “American Commons” downloadable app. Decks with specific themes (such as Democratic and Republican Presidential Primary, History of Organized Labor, Monetary Reform, etc.) will also be available through the app.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders introduced Democratic Socialism to the American Public as part of the 2016 presidential primary race. “So let me define for you, simply and straightforwardly, what democratic socialism means to me," he said to a Georgetown University audience in November. “It builds on what Franklin Delano Roosevelt said when he fought for guaranteed economic rights for all Americans. And it builds on what Martin Luther King, Jr. said in 1968 when he stated that; “This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor.” It builds on the success of many other countries around the world that have done a far better job than we have in protecting the needs of their working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor. Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy.”
Commonomics USA, formed by veterans of the public banking, debt forgiveness, and foreclosure prevention movements, aims to “advance economic justice, reclaim the commons, and promote democratic economies through nonpartisan partnerships with America's public policy officials, grass roots activists, and the general public,” according to its web site.
Marc Armstrong, one of the founders of Commonomics USA and designer of the American Commons board game, says “This game is an opportunity for people to discuss important subjects, like economics and politics, while using their collective reasoning to outmaneuver the oligarchy. The authentic quotes from politicians help to further game play in many surprising ways. The wealth discs, the rights cards, voting cards, and the technology wildcards all interact in a way that brings a sense of order and purpose to the economy. And the bottom line is surprising – can you protect the American Commons? It’s more difficult than one might imagine.”
Commonomics USA’s larger vision is a defense of the commons, and implementation of policies that promote human solidarity and resiliency. Armstrong explains that “the commons includes everything from open source software to banking. Government austerity and privatization are the dual threats to our common wealth. We advance the idea that the expansion and protection of the commons, particularly those in the economic arena, will improve our collective wealth.”
The web site for Commonomics USA is

by Commonomics Media Team on October 26th, 2015

Marc Armstrong, president of Commonomics USA, discusses the history and resurgence of postal banking with the organization's policy director, Matt Stannard, in this short conversation. 

Listen here.