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Capitalism 3.0: Reclaiming the Commons

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Planet Good Radio

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This week on Planet Good Radio, Peter Barnes, co-founder and former President of Working Assets joins us to talk about the ideas in his book, “Capitalism 3.0.” Peter is a business man in a quandry — a firm believer in free markets, he’s also convinced that our current version of capitalism is pushing nature ever closer to collapse — and continuing to widen the already huge gap between rich and poor. But he’s no fan of government either. So he came up with what he thinks is a better idea: create an independent “common wealth” sector to protect shared assets like air and water, and maybe even cultures and communities. Secure these assets in a trust that belongs to everyone, he writes in “Capitalism 3.0,” and profit-making corporations couldn’t wantonly gobble them up. Plus, everybody would benefit equally from their use. At present Peter is a senior fellow at the Tomales Bay Institute in Point Reyes Station, California. He earned a B.A. in history from Harvard and an M.A. in government from Georgetown. Peter began his career as a reporter on The Lowell (Mass.) Sun, and was subsequently a Washington correspondent for Newsweek and west coast correspondent for The New Republic. In 1976 he co-founded a solar energy company in San Francisco, and in 1983 he co-founded Working Assets Money Fund. He subsequently served as president of Working Assets Long Distance. In 1995 he was named Socially Responsible Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern California. He has served on numerous boards of directors, including the National Cooperative Bank, the California State Assistance Fund for Energy, the California Solar Industry Association, Businesses for Social Responsibility, Techmar, Redefining Progress, the Family Violence Prevention Fund, Public Media Center, Greenpeace International, the California Tax Reform Association, and the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

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