The most basic mission of an economy under capitalism is to grow. We traditionally measure an economy’s health by profitability markers.
But shouldn’t we expect more than aimless growth from our economy? Shouldn’t an economy reward growth in sectors that benefit everybody rather than just the top 1%? Shouldn’t we be rewarding those sectors that are combating climate change, encouraging greener technologies, strengthening broadband capabilities, and doing good in our world?
Economic growth for growth’s sake is not a model that allows society to thrive, and it’s up to us to convince our government to build an economy that works for all Americans.
We’ve undertaken big, mission-driven investments in our economy at some of the greatest points in American history. We can do it again.
Government regulations are meant to encourage growth that benefits society and discourages companies from prioritizing shareholders’ values over what’s best for everyday Americans. But over the last four decades, America’s government has largely abandoned this regulatory role, giving billionaire corporations free license to prioritize profits over people.
Most recent example: Allowing the top 650 billionaires to add $1 TRILLION to their wealth during a pandemic while everyday Americans were just trying to pay rent or put food on the table. Our goal is to create a new type of economy where the government and companies work together, valuing outcomes just as much as output.
We can use government investments in the form of grants and loans to encourage the brightest minds and companies to prioritize innovation that addresses societal problems like the immense digital divide and human-caused climate change. This public-private partnership has the power to incentivize the best of corporate America to solve some of humanity’s biggest problems, putting the profit motive to work for the greater good. Something we haven’t seen happen for decades.
We’ve seen it work before, when the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency was founded in the 1950s as part of America’s race to the moon. Some of America’s biggest companies and brightest minds came together to work toward a common goal. Even when projects “failed” – according to DARPA’s goals at the time – the research we funded led to innovations we all use today from touchscreens to camera phones to the internet. Now, it’s time to throw that same energy, motivation, and government funding into addressing society’s biggest problems.
Together, with conscious investments from our government, we can build an economy that works for all Americans, instead of just the wealthiest 1%. Our economy, our people, and our country will be stronger for it. But it’s up to grassroots activists like us to encourage our lawmakers to make it happen – and that’s why we need to know that you’re with us. We’re counting on 2,500 responses before our survey expires at midnight, so please, to help build a brighter future for all Americans, tell us now:
Should our government invest in innovations that address societal problems and have the potential to benefit all Americans?
Are you fired up to finally build an economy that works for all Americans? Ready to learn more from the world’s leading economic and political thinkers? Listen to the Pitchfork Economics podcast now!