Featured Article

Reinventing the Corporation

Corporations benefit from the public, so it is fitting that the public should expect something in return from business. The current climate of greed, cynicism and corruption is discussed, along with ways of holding business more accountable.

When an act of simple human decency appears heroic, it’s time to ask some basic questions about the culture in which that act takes place. That’s what happened last December in an old mill town in Massachusetts. AT&T had just announced it was laying off 40,000 workers, even though profits and executive pay were soaring. U.S. corporations had inflicted over three million such layoffs since 1989, and there was a depressing new litany on the evening news: jobs down, stock market up. (More recently, it’s been the equally revealing counterpart: jobs up, market down.) The new Republican Congress was giving these corporations the store. Yet the more they got, the less they seemed willing to give back in return.

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Commons

  • The Parallel Economy of the Commons

    It is an article of faith among economists that a resource without a private property regime is destined for overuse. Yet on Bali, an island in the Indonesian archipelago, that … More

  • Good Bye Night Sky

    There was a time, a few days ago in human history, really, when people spent a lot of time looking at the sky at night.   To read Greek mythology, and … More

  • Our Neglected Wealth

    For a preview of the next big turn of the political wheel, we might consider a drama that is unfolding in the realm of computers and the World Wide Web. … More

Economic Indicators

  • Looking Backward: Economics and the Cult of Yesterday

    GDP and productivity don’t measure what’s really going on in the economy—or in people’s lives. Jonathan Rowe on measuring what matters.

  • The Gross Domestic Product

    Testimony of Jonathan Rowe Co-director of the West Marin Commons Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Interstate Commerce, Trade and Tourism March 12, 2008 … More

  • If the GDP Is Up, Why Is America Down?

    Why we need new measures of progress, why we do not have them, and how they would change the social and political landscape

Economics

  • The Missing Sector

    Enlarging Our Sense of “the Economy”

  • Why Economists Are So Often Wrong

    What is called “economics” is really psychology on steroids. It starts with a model of human nature and extrapolates an entire scenario for how the world works from that. The … More

  • The Tragedy of Economics: Market Theory Vs. Human Nature

    When Jimmy Wales, a refugee from options trading, set out to create an encyclopedia online, he thought first of the Britanica model, except with volunteers. He assigned articles to professional … More

About

Headshot of Jonathan Rowe

Jonathan Rowe was a writer who wrote about the commons, diseconomy, economics, economic indicators, corporations, and many other subjects.
Jonathan was an editor at the Washington Monthly magazine and a staff writer at the Christian Science Monitor. He contributed to Harper’s, the Atlantic Monthly, Reader’s Digest, Washington Post, Columbia Journalism Review, American Prospect, Adbusters, and a host of other publications.

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