Middle Out Economics – An economy for everyone

When a country has a strong and prosperous middle class, that country’s economy can be strong and growing. This is the opposite of what we’ve got these days, where new wealth rarely touches the hands of regular folks, but instead gets added to the mountains of underused money at the top. This winner-take-all economy punishes the middle class, and though harder to see, also punishes companies trying to employ and market to the middle class.

A hundred years ago, Henry Ford started paying his workers better, based on one simple truth:

When regular folks have more money they can buy more things. And that is what creates jobs and prosperity.

The new tag line for this kind of economy is Middle Out Economics. (Another article on Middle Out Economics)

There is a growing understanding that this change is due, and is coming. Life and prosperity has always been about people working together and building on our combined successes and strengths. Every wealthy person owes much of their success to the underpinnings and contributions of our society – often behind the scenes and currently under-appreciated.

In their book, The Gardens of Democracy, Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu show how Middle Out Economics has always been the way for widespread prosperity. 

Here’s to a new start on an old idea: treating people well and paying people well.

Wealthy people matter – just not more than anyone else. Let’s find ways that respect people, and bring dignity and fairness to our lives and our economy.

Putting people first in our lives and our economy

Every day there are new voices calling for better ways for our economy to operate. The winner-take-all mindset and laws have seen fear replace hope in many people’s lives, and poverty replace prosperity.

In their book, The Gardens of Democracy, authors Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu present a compelling and clear-headed plan for our economy.

Hanauer and Liu view a new democracy not as an-feeling, antisocial machine, but as a garden: tended and existing within a healthy, people-focused ecosystem.

They base their vision on ideas that speak truth for people, but run counter to the punishing version of capitalism we currently have:

True self interest is mutual interest. Society is an ecosystem that is healthiest when we take care of the whole.

How we behave affects others. Living as positive members of society and the economy encourages others.

The economy is not an efficient machine, as we’re often told. Instead, it can be seen as an effective garden that need tending and participation.

Government should be about the big what and the little how: establishing a people-centric framework and then letting the people find the solutions for how to make it happen.

Freedom is about responsibility, not a greed-rich libertarianism. When there is an active cooperation by the whole society good things happen for more people.

The Gardens of Democracy is an optimistic, provocative, and timely call for each of us to improve our role as citizens in a democratic society, and to speak out in favour of positive, people-focused changes to our economy.