A Declaration of Independence from Wall Street – Revised, Updated & Expanded

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“This edition of Agenda for a New Economy brings together previously fragmented ideas about how to move forward into a compelling, cohesive framework for personal, community and government action. This book will get you from ‘yes, but how?’ to ‘yes, and here’s how’.”
—Alisa Gravitz, Executive Director, Green America

“In this new edition of his groundbreaking book, David Korten steps up with a new, practical and energizing guide we all can use to transform today’s economic disaster into a Living Democracy.”
—Frances Moore Lappé, author of Getting a Grip 2 and Diet for a Small Planet

Discussion Guide PDF

“Finally a bold Obama-era agenda that soars above the mild reforms that are grabbing daily headlines and actually meets the daunting challenges posed by the Wall Street and planetary crises.
—John Cavanagh, Director of the Institute for Policy Studies and coeditor of Alternatives to Economic Globalization

The 1st Edition

The 1st edition of Agenda for a New Economy launched on January 23, 2009, just after the Obama inauguration, at a national theological conference sponsored by the historic Trinity Church, located at the head of Wall Street. This edition of Agenda made a compelling case that Wall Street cannot be fixed and must be replaced. See my report and related interviews on PBS NOW with David Broncaccio and Democracy Now with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales. See also the presentation at Elliot Bay Books discussing the background and message of Agenda featured on C-Span 2 Book TV “Top Nonfiction Authors and Books.”

It is now more than two years after the economic meltdown, joblessness and foreclosures are still endemic, Wall Street executives continue to get massive bonuses and each day brings scandalous new revelations of Wall Street corruption. Yet Washington remains unable to make the fundamental policy changes desperately needed to achieve real recovery.

The 2nd Edition

Table of Contents

The need for a new edition to deepen the analysis and present a more holistic, systemic policy agenda was clear by late 2009.

The 2nd edition, which is issued as a report of the New Economy Working Group (NEWGroup), incorporates an additional year and a half of research and collaboration by the NEWGroup partners. It launched on June 12, 2010 at the Network of Spiritual Progressives conference in Washington, DC in the shadow of the capital building. This substantially revised, expanded, and updated edition explains why a visionary new president opted for marginal reform and what we as citizens can do to break through the political paralysis. It builds on Agenda I to issue a call for a national Declaration of Independence from Wall Street and provide a handbook for a nonviolent Main Street revolution.

Agenda2 identifies the system by which money is created and allocated as the ultimate instrument of social control in modern society. It breaks new ground in outlining a clear and coherent plan to replace the corrupted life-destroying phantom-wealth Wall Street money system with a life-serving living-wealth Main Street money system that favors life values over financial values, roots power in people and community, and supports local resilience and self-organization within a framework of living markets and living democracy.

Agenda2 builds on the simple premise that the only legitimate purpose of an economy is to support people in meeting their needs for the basic goods and services needed for a full and healthy life in ways that are dignified and spiritually fulfilling. If existing economic institutions fail to fulfill this purpose, it is the democratic right of the people to change them.

The Real Market/Real Democracy Alternative

Perhaps the greatest barrier to change is the false belief that we are limited to the choice between a capitalist system that subjects people to rule by unaccountable self-serving financiers and a socialist economic system that subjects them to rule by unaccountable self-serving bureaucrats. Agenda2 demonstrates that there is an alternative that looks a lot more like the market economy Adam Smith had in mind than an economy centrally planned by Goldman Sachs, Wal-Mart, Halliburton, and Monsanto.

There are now many books in print delving into the arcane details of exactly how Wall Street structured and implemented its many scams. Agenda is one of the few books that takes a comprehensive look at what can be done to shut down the criminal syndicate that Wall Street has become and replace it with a life-serving New Economy able to achieve ecological balance, an equitable distribution of Earth’s resources, and a living democracy responsive to the needs and values of ordinary people.

Listen to “No Wall Too Tall,” the Agenda for a New Economy theme song, by singer-songwriter Raffi.

People say it’s hopeless, money rules the world
It rules with an iron hand, we’re helpless in its hold
People say you’re crazy, you can’t break that wall
It’s too old, too big, too strong, it’s never going to fall
I say – think of the Iron Curtain, think of Berlin,
Remember apartheid, look at the state they’re in
There’s no wall too tall
No wall too tall to fall
No wall, no wall too tall