Imagining a new, and more moral, capitalism

October 11, 2011

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(AP/Julie Jacobson)
In solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, protesters in Las Vegas call for dramatic, top-down economic reform.

The topic is endlessly debated on Capitol Hill and cable television newsrooms. But the fundamental question of economic reform has not been directed to Americans outside the establishment – the so-called “99 percent.” Questions of how to re-structure our capitalist system; where to you start; what to change in the tax code, the Federal Reserve, the government’s relationship with banks, and so on, are questions not being asked of middle and working-class americans.

The Nation recently posed such questions to readers, policy thinkers and activists, publishing the insights in a special issue, “Reimagining Capitalism: 13 Bold Ideas for a New Economy." William Greider, national affairs correspondent for the magazine, guest edited the issue.

In the wake of the growing Occupy Wall Street movement, William joins us to discuss creative ways in which the U.S. can rebuild its economic system. From a tax on financial speculation to the creation of state banks that would provide low-cost lending, not all these ideas are politically plausible. But, as William argues, “It will [soon] become obvious that our economy will not truly recover until American capitalism is refashioned, stripped of its self-aggrandizing excesses and made to serve the interests of society rather than the other way around.”

William has written about the U.S. economy for decades. His books include Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country and The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy.