Welcome to the Trump Era, just the latest version of the profits-over-people-and-planet capitalist economy. We live under the tyranny of money and how to make it, worrying about how and where we’ll live. Corporations are in control. We struggle to find meaningful relationships and community connection. Now, as the economy continues to fail the 99 percent—Trump voters included—more people than ever are looking for a different way.
YES! has long explored the changes necessary for an economy that creates health and happiness. In the aftermath of the economic collapse nearly a decade ago, author David Korten wrote that we needed to replace the economy with “a new, values-based system that supports social and environmental balance and the creation of meaningful wealth.” He described the new economy movement, which advocates for a system overhaul that would give community control of resources, including self-reliance in food and energy, information and technology sharing, and trade that is fair. Many progressives call for reforms that include shared ownership, equity, independence from money, and support for ecosystems. They envision an economy that serves social justice.
But no individual can fix the system; in this political climate, that’s beyond even the capability of policymakers. And talk of big system fixes can feel hopeless considering the real world. Most people experience “the economy” not as a system to be fixed, but in personal ways, the everyday give and take of living. It’s in the wages and rent, the bills for food, childcare, and health care. It’s in your social circle and what you do in your free time. It’s in the racism that holds people back every day.
Can we find meaningful, local ways to build a joy-sparking economy even in a Trumpocracy, take personal steps to create the solidarity economy all around us? How can we build resilience into, and even ramp up, the local living economies movements that existed before Trump and certainly will exist after Trump? Are there identifiable tenets or values that can guide us in our micro-economies, the ones we do have control over, at home and in our communities? How do we arrange our lives to support an alternative economics that embraces solidarity, centers racial equity, and offers health and happiness as its goal?
For the Winter Issue of YES! Magazine, we are looking for solutions at the personal and community level that can have transformative impacts, in our own lives and in the lives of the rest of the 99 percent. In these small, medium, or large actions, people are redefining expectations of economies and helping to build a broader and politically powerful solidarity economy. We are interested in stories on:
– Personal finance
– Economic democracy
– Community and social investment
– Independence from money
– Indigenous economic models
– Racial equity
– Affordable housing
– Food and health
– Work, production, and trade
– Meaningful wealth
– Shared ownership
Do you have an idea for a reported feature, deeply researched think piece, or personal essay that belongs in this issue of YES! Magazine? Send pitches and leads by August 18 to email@example.com.