Local Dollars, Local Sense
Local Dollars, Local Sense by Michael Shuman
How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity
Local Dollars, Local Sense is a guide to creating Community Resilience. Americans' long-term savings in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, pension funds, and life insurance funds total about $30 trillion. But not even 1 percent of these savings touch local small business-even though roughly half the jobs and the output in the private economy come from them. So, how can people increasingly concerned with the poor returns from Wall Street and the devastating impact of global companies on their communities invest in Main Street?
In Local Dollars, Local Sense, local economy pioneer Michael Shuman shows investors, including the nearly 99% who are unaccredited, how to put their money into building local businesses and resilient regional economies-and profit in the process. A revolutionary toolbox for social change, written with compelling personal stories, the book delivers the most thorough overview available of local investment options, explains the obstacles, and profiles investors who have paved the way.
Shuman demystifies the growing realm of local investment choices-from institutional lending to investment clubs and networks, local investment funds, community ownership, direct public offerings, local stock exchanges, crowdfunding, and more. He also guides readers through the lucrative opportunities to invest locally in their homes, energy efficiency, and themselves.
A rich resource for both investors and the entrepreneurs they want to support, Local Dollars, Local Sense eloquently shows how to truly protect your financial future--and your community's.
Replacement Value: $32
1 A Living Rate of Return 1
2 I Zero-Cost Stimulus 14
3 The Hidden Power of Cooperatives 44
4 Institutional Lending 71
5 Anti-Poverty Investing 100
6 If I Were a Rich Man . . . 117
7 Unaccredited Investing in SEC-Land 132
8 Local Exchanges 157
9 Everybody into the Pool! 184
10 Investing in Yourself 208
Endnotes 231 Index 239
Kirkus Reviews- In an installment of the environmentally responsible publisher's Community Resilience Guide series, an astute economist weighs in on a hot-button issue: how to keep local dollars invested in local businesses. Shuman (The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition, 2007, etc.) offers real-time suggestions for investing hard-earned American money back into community-based businesses. In the introduction, musician and philanthropist Peter Buffett restates the importance of a return to the ""fundamental aspects of human nature"" to reverse what he believes to be the nation's crippled socioeconomic structure. Shuman expands on Buffett's beliefs by citing America's broken investment system whereby money spent at local merchants becomes reinvested into large Wall Street corporations. He cites several ""local-investment tools"" as the building blocks in a plan to reallocate and redistribute capital back into communities that need it more than the ""bandits of Wall Street."" After an outline of weak retirement investment returns, a stagnant economy and the bleak outlook for future retirees, the author advances highly practical arguments in favor of supporting locally grown foodstuffs, community banking, autonomous cooperative organizations and the adoption of a sustainable mindset. Shuman sensibly lays out the groundwork for a revamped economic platform with profiles of many viable, ""green"" companies and nonprofit alliances alongside intensively researched facts about banks, securities and recession-proof purchasing strategies. As his thesis deepens, however, the material becomes more applicable for more seasoned, jargon-friendly economists. Still, those emerging with a modicum of head-scratching will find Shuman's galvanized eco-speak an intelligent voice in assigning a conscience to the process of how and where hard-earned dollars are spent. An impassioned, forward-thinking plea for economic reform at the grassroots level.
About the Author
Michael H. Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and a globally recognized expert on community economics. He is one of the architects of the crowdfunding JOBS Act signed into law by President Obama in April 2012. He's a fellow at Cutting Edge Capital and Post Carbon Institute and a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). He teaches economic development at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. He has authored or coauthored nine books, including Local Dollars, Local Sense; The Small Mart Revolution; and Going Local. Shuman has performed leakage analyses and related economic- development planning in more than ten states and has analyzed opportunities for food localization for several states, cities, counties, and regions across the nation. He has given an average of more than one invited talk per week, mostly to local governments and universities, for thirty years--in forty-seven states and eight countries. He has appeared on numerous television and radio shows, such as the The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and NPR's Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered, and has written nearly one hundred articles for such periodicals as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The Weekly Standard, Foreign Policy, Parade Magazine, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Previously, he has been a W.K. Kellogg National Leadership fellow. He is also a member of both the State Bar of California and the District of Columbia Bar, and he lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his two children.