As a retired Humboldt State University accounting and sustainable business professor, I have explored economic theory and one thing is clear to me — our current model of capitalism isn't working for all, nor is it helping the planet. Capitalism is just one way in which humans exchange resources and get their needs met (Mailbox, May 20). We have engaged in such exchanges for thousands of years and it's only in more recent years that extreme and extractive capitalism has ruled.
Numerous economists are exploring and developing different models where human needs are met in a way that honors life and acknowledges natural limits. Marxism, socialism and capitalism are just the three we hear the most about. Here on the north coast, one group working to create better systems at a local level is Cooperation Humboldt. If you're interested in learning how economic systems can serve all people rather than only the few who own the capital, here are a few resources:
E. F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
M. Anielski, The Economics of Happiness
C. Eisenstein, Sacred Economics;
Various works by V. Shiva, D. Korten and J. Perkins. Shiva and Perkins, in particular, describe how indigenous communities thrived until capitalism came in and decimated local economies.
Cooperation Humboldt offers many ways to learn more and get involved locally. You can learn more on their website at www.cooperationhumboldt.org.
Kate Lancaster, Arcata