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Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons download epub

by Peter Barnes


Epub Book: 1906 kb. | Fb2 Book: 1347 kb.

PETER BARNES is a businessman in a quandary.

This book is lucid and highly readable as it deconstructs key flaws in conventional economics and proposes innovative solutions that protect the commons. Barnes is a former businessman (cofounder of Working Assets) and journalist, so he approaches the subject with sophistication and clarity.

A guide to reclaiming the commons. All commercial rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Berrett-Koehler books are printed on long-lasting acid-free paper.

Now, Peter Barnes offers a solution: protect the commons by giving it property rights and strong . The commons - those creations of nature and society we inherit together and must preserve for our children - is under siege.

Now, Peter Barnes offers a solution: protect the commons by giving it property rights and strong institutional managers.

Neither is public philosophy, although the author clearly has an ethical public policy of his own.

Peter Barnes comes up with some very interesting and innovative concepts and methods in the part 1 (The Problem) of his book

Overall, his view of the commons and the right way(s) to manage them is logical and seems quite plausible and very well argued  . Peter Barnes comes up with some very interesting and innovative concepts and methods in the part 1 (The Problem) of his book. Overall, his view of the commons and the right way(s) to manage them is logical and seems quite plausible and very well argued.

In Barnes' vision, an array of commons trusts would institutionalize our obligations to future generations, fellow citizens, and nature.

Peter Barnes comes up with some very interesting and innovative concepts and methods in the part 1 (The Problem) of. .

Peter Barnes comes up with some very interesting and innovative concepts and methods in the part 1 (The Problem) of his book. However, there are some possible remarks that can be made.

From the cofounder of Working Assets comes a visionary plan to upgrade capitalism.

Comments: (7)

Agarus
For a number of years environmental economists have been saying that the problem with our economic models is that they externalise the true costs of many of the products that modern society has come to depend on. For instance, the pollution from burning coal and diesel fuel causes asthma and other respiratory illnesses, but the costs of those illnesses are borne, not by the burners of fuel, but by the children and other victims of the diseases. Likewise, the true cost of greenhouse gas pollution is not borne by those burning carbon based fuels, it is borne by the earth's ecosystem—increased heat and drought, the worsening of storms, the melting of polar ice, and the extermination of plant and animal species up and down the food chain. So, the problem of reducing these sorts of pollutants is to a large part and economic problem: how do we "internalize" those costs without wrecking the global economic system (which would result in horrible suffering and death to billions of people.)

The common view (except for those who insist that global warming is a hoax) is that a cap and trade system, in which a limit to emmissions should be set and then certificates for some portion of the remaining capacity would be, either auctioned by the government or simply distributed to industry according to how much business each does. Then, the certificates could be bought and sold on an open market so that those who produced the most pollutants would be force to buy the most certificates, internalizing the cost of pollution and creating an incentive for polluters to find more efficient and less polluting ways to carry out their business, heat their homes, drive their cars, etc.

This is where Peter Barnes comes in. Hold on, he says, if these certificates are being bought and sold, who gets the money? Does it just flow back to the government? Does it go to the businesses that pollute less? Essentially, this is the cost of using the atmosphere as a sink for waste products. If this were your back yard and people were throwing trash into it, wouldn't you expect this fee to come to you? So, his big question is, who owns the sky? and shouldn't that party be the beneficiary of this new stream of revenue?

Well, of course, that is exactly the problem. No one owns the sky, it is a commons and, as such, it is subject to Garret Hardin's famous Tragedy of the Commons unless there is some kind of enforceable regulation. Barnes suggests that since the sky is a commons, all people should benefit as well as pay when the costs of pollution are internalized. And the system for creating this ownership is already in place in our system of laws and regulations. What we need is a trust whose mandate is to protect the capacity of the atmosphere by capping the amount of greenhouse gasses that can be emmitted and holding those funds in trust for present *and future* generations. This trust would distribute annual dividends to the beneficiaries (that would be all of us) and invest some part for future generations. The honesty of the trustees would be assured by the entire society simply because everyone would have an interest in the honesty and transparency of the trusteeship.

That is pretty much the point where his first book, Who Owns the Sky, ends. In Capitalism 3.0, Barnes takes the idea forward, identifying other common assets that are now used without payment and shows how charging for their use could not only work to distribute wealth more rationally, but also lead to an economy that would encourage the increase of happiness for all citizens, rather than simply increase the quantity of money.
Cesar
Barnes' idea is that we need to use a 3rd institution - "the commons" - to develop a better form a capitalism that takes into account natural resources that are used and not accounted for. This is needed, because government has failed to do a good job in this regard and is subject by capture by industry, something that is very prevalent in the USA. The commons works by being above the short term exigencies of businessmen and politicians, using the power of property rights under legal trusteeship to ensure that the commons under trust are best used for the long term.

So far so good. Then we appear to run into real issues that are glossed over pretty lightly.

The commons works best where the commons boundary, like any property, can be clearly demarcated and the inputs and outputs tallied. Parks and historic buildings come to mind. But the real commons we are after include the air, the oceans and the larger terrestrial land masses. And this is where the commons system may break down. Why? Barnes wants to make the commons sustainable by offering stakeholders an income based on use. If a factory owner wants to emit CO2, he must pay the commons for that right and the commons disburses some of the fees to the stakeholders. But consider another common, the oceans. The stakeholders might reasonably ask the air commons for fees for their right to add CO2 to the oceans, increasing their acidity, or raising their temperature, or destroying Arctic ice cover. How would that be valued, where are the boundaries drawn? This seems to lead us back to the morass from whence we came, allowing markets to determine this, and possibly back to private ownership.

As far as I can see, this is only going to be managed by global decisions and global ownership of the commons, something that I see as very hard to accomplish, given the huge differences in goals of the global stakeholders.

Another goal of the commons structure that Barnes sees as desirable is the redistribution of income through stakeholder ownership, rather than by taxation. I agree this is a good goal, but I disagree the commons is the best way to solve this. Other countries have solved this at least partly through policies and taxes. Even in the US, we still have publicly funded schools, and publicly funded senior health care. That was achieved historically and has resisted attempts to dismantle it, although both are on shakier ground today than they were.

Overall, I think that the central idea is an interesting one, worthy of more discussion and implementation, at least in the simpler, smaller domains. For that reason alone, this book is worth reading.
Hasirri
I am enthusiascially asking you to take the leap and read this book. It is so refreshing to read words from someone who has made it "big", who also understands that that isn't all there is to being alive and well in America. The author clearly states that running a company that makes money is desirable and that that isn't the end of it. There are other considerations and other ways to impact the world than simply raking in the dough. I have long thought there was an ugly face to capitalism and it seemed to me I was the only one who saw it that way. It is comforting and reassuring to know I am not alone. Give it a try, okay? It won't hurt much and it helps to know there is a different way to see it all.
Ielonere
Barnes for president! He's nailed an approach to distributing the wealth of capitalism among us all. It's an approach that could work, and I think that Bernie Sanders would agree with him.
It really is not very radical, but could easily be made to sound that way by the oligarchs that now run our country.
Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons download epub
Politics & Government
Author: Peter Barnes
ISBN: 1576753611
Category: Politics & Social Sciences
Subcategory: Politics & Government
Language: English
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1 edition (November 1, 2006)
Pages: 195 pages