August 2006

The Monitor's View

Christian Science Monitor - Union-backed critics of Wal-Mart are in full throttle to push politicians into echoing their complaints about the retail chain as they stump this fall. What's missing in this organized campaign are tales of how communities have met the Wal-Mart challenge.

Much of this political effort to change the world's largest retailer would be better spent in spreading the lessons of communities and local merchants that have found ways to survive, even thrive, with the big-box discount chains.

Funny Money to Boost a Biz?

Berkshire Eagle - Derek Gentile - Local businessmen and town officials are bracing for a slew of pseudo-cash slated to circulate in South County at the end of next month.
But it's all for a good cause.

About $865,000 worth of BerkShares, a local currency created specifically to encourage consumers to buy locally in South County, will be minted and released the weekend of Sept. 29.

Utopian Visions: A Breath of Fresh Air

Women's Crossroads Blog - Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez - I have been reading Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia, a 1960’s-era utopian novel envisioning what would happen if the West Coast of the U.S. seceded from the union, and became entirely self-sustaining by reducing its demand for fossil fuels and inventing new sustainable technologies. The book also describes a social revolution as radical as anything Marx ever came up with—communal living, free love (of course, it was written in the 60’s), and cradle-to-grave security. Ecotopia also happens to be governed by women!