Rebooting Your Community After COVID-19

I’m currently offering a workshop on how to help revive your community’s economy as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, through a specific, comprehensive local investment strategy.  You can find details for planning a virtual or live (should that option become feasible) workshop on my Speaking page. Feel free to reach out to AudreyDumentat@gmail.com for more details. 

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Three Ways to Leave Wall Street

Wall Street is no longer a roller coaster, it’s a runaway train heading over a cliff. How are you feeling about losing at least a fifth of your retirement savings? Or thousands you diligently tucked away for your kids’ education?  Your investment adviser is no doubt telling you to stay the course, think long term,

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A Dozen Asks for Your Governor

Everyone knows that the three, multi-trillion-dollar stimulus bills passed by Congress fall way short.  For most local businesses—the lifeblood of our economy—these bills offer too little relief, too late.  I’m hopeful though that the states (and maybe, in some places, counties and cities) can rise to the challenge of saving these businesses.  Now is the

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Comparative Resilience: 8 Principles for Post-COVID Reconstruction

This past weekend, a bright Georgetown undergraduate asked me how I squared my passion for localization with the theory of comparative advantage.  For economics newbies, he was referring to David Ricardo’s argument that every community should find one product to specialize in and trade for everything else.  I gave my usual response that the theory

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12 Reasons the Glass is 1% Full

Let’s stipulate upfront that there’s nothing to celebrate about a pandemic.  The damage COVID-19 is wreaking—in terms of deaths, sickness, business closures, unemployment, and misery—is incalculable.  But this crisis is changing the world in subtle ways that may ultimately improve our lives.  So…in the spirit of Winston Churchill, who once implored not to let a

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Why Local Economies Matter

I recently was hired by Utopies, a French think tank, to help MCB, the largest bank in Mauritius, rethink its approach to economic development.  The following is from an interview I did with MC, which summarizes the case for local economists.  (Another interview I did with them, on what MCB and other banks can and

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A Truly “Business Friendly” Leader

Where I live, in Montgomery County, Maryland, this is a critical election, because we finally have an opportunity to elect a leader, Marc Elrich, who really understands the meaning of economic development. His principal opponent, Nancy Floreen, is justifying her quixotic, independent bid to become County Executive with the claim that she is the only

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A Tax Revolt Against Corporate Subsidies

Many thanks to the WASHINGTON POST for publishing on June 7th my latest take on the Takoma Junction Redevelopment Project. I argued that Takoma Park is now the proverbial canary in the coal mine. The era of communities giving huge subsidies to developers may be ending, and progressive revulsion at the practice may turn out

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More on Takoma Junction

The analysis I summarized in the previous blog post generated numerous responses from the public, the City, and the developer.  One central theme of the responses has been skepticism over my contention that the City is subsidizing the developer, NDC. What follows are my further comments on the debate for the Takoma Park City Council:

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Rethinking The Takoma Junction Redevelopment Plan

A basic mantra of progressive economic development should be to deploy public land for public purposes.  This has become clear to me as I’ve watched the nearby City of Takoma Park, Maryland, struggle to move ahead on a controversial development project on a 1.4 acre site called Takoma Junction.  The site is largely undeveloped except that the neighboring

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An Interview With Transition Towns

One of the most influential drivers of localization worldwide is the Transition Towns movement, launched by Rob Hopkins in the United Kingdom, which has inspired initiatives in literally thousands of communities.  “The Transition Network,” according to its web site, “is a charitable organisation whose role is to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train communities as

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We’ve Won! Now What?

Last week, I gave a lunchtime talk to the board of the Fresh Sound Foundation in New York City, where I was asked to help this small family philanthropy think about how it could best assist the local economy movement. I thought this was a really interesting question, because depending on one’s perspective, it meant

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