A fairly new group of leading heterodox economic thinkers and activists has come together as Econ4 to pioneer some new forms of popular education about economics. Their work focuses both on the fallacies of conventional economics and the promise of a new economic paradigm. Check out Econ4’s series of intelligent and engaging short videos which explain the economics of healthcare, housing, jobs, and more. A just-released video, “The Bottom Line: A New Economy,” provides a terrific overview of the new types of peer production, cooperatives and other distributed, local, hybrid initiatives that are already taking root across the US.
The basic mission of Econ4 is to change the study of economics and how we publicly talk about economic choices. As the project states on its website: “The economic crisis we face today is not only a crisis of the economy. It is also a crisis of economics. The free-market fundamentalism that attained ideological dominance in the final decades of the 20th century has been discredited by financial collapse, global imbalances, mass unemployment, and environmental degradation. To confront these challenges, we need an economics for the 21st century.”
The term “Econ4” refers to the four central conditions that the economy must meet in meeting people’s long-term needs and protecting the planet. This chart provides a shorthand overview of the four conditions, which are elaborated in a longer statement on the Econ4 website:
Besides its great videos, Econ4 has a variety of resources for those who wish to explore alternative economics further.