America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy by James Gustave Speth shows that it’s possible to fix our economy, our environment, and our democracy — and that each goes hand-in-hand with the others.

As millions of people in the US and billions around the world suffer unemployment and deprivation, those who care about workers instinctively reach for economic growth as the way to create decent livelihoods for all.  Yet those who are paying attention to what is happening to our land, waters, and climate know that the unintended consequence of modern economic growth is the destruction of the very ecosphere that makes life on earth possible.

Speth synthesizes a wonderfully wide range of models, proposals, and forms of action into a synergistic whole.  He shows how we can create full employment by greatly expanding our production of things that people need — from education and healthcare to climate-protecting energy, manufacturing, and transportation systems.  At the same time, we can phase out the kinds of production that are hurting us — from fossil fuel energy systems to yet more weapons to make the rubble bounce.  And he shows how such a program can draw labor and environmentalists, local communities and advocates of global justice, and many other constituencies out of their silos and into a broad-based movement for a sustainable future.

“America the Possible” is still possible, Speth believes, but only if we change directions with genuine urgency.

For LNS members in the Washington DC area, the AFL-CIO will be hosting a conversation with Speth on September 18th, from 4-6pm, at the AFL-CIO, 815 16th St., NW, Presidents Room. Speth will present the main ideas of the book and then Institute for Policy Studies director John Cavanagh will moderate a discussion.

Co-hosts: Institute for Policy Studies, AFL-CIO, Natural Resources Defense Council, 350.org, New Economy Working Group, Yes Magazine, Democracy Collaborative, Teaching for Change, Center for a New American Dream, Green America, Friends of the Earth-US, Worldwatch Institute, Labor Network for Sustainability, Communitarian Network

Please RSVP to Noel Ortega at IPS: noel@ips-dc.org