A Field Trip to the Schumacher Center for a New Economics

imageIn his 1973 book, Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, E.F. Schumacher challenges our economic assumptions that more is better and bigger is more efficient. It has now been 42 years since Schumacher wrote his book and while there’s increased awareness of some of the issues he raised – inequality and environmental degradation among them – there seems to be no indication that these trends are going to reverse themselves anytime soon. To say that there’s still plenty of work to do is an understatement. Fortunately, there are some amazing people leading the way.

While in Connecticut visiting my family for the Christmas holiday, we took an economic pilgrimage to the nearby Schumacher Center for a New Economics located in the Berkshire Mountains. Continue reading

1940s America – The Start of Small Town Decline?

imageAll across the country, small towns are suffering. Once the heart of the American experience, these places have been losing their populations to larger urban and metropolitan centers for the past several decades. I never consciously chose to be a part of this great migration, but as it turns out I find myself as a case-in-point. I grew up in a small town in Connecticut and I did well in school which meant opportunities to go away to college. Specialized degrees led to specialized jobs located in larger metropolitan areas, until following the natural path of this economy landed me in Austin, Texas, one of the fastest growing cities in the nation and a leading beneficiary of the small town-to-big-city movement. Continue reading