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Are We There Yet?  vol. 206 Thumbnail

Are We There Yet? vol. 206

The news seems so depressing these days that a recent nice story really caught my attention. No, it wasn’t Tucker Carlson’s interview with Putin that strangely morphed into an advertisement for the low prices for groceries in Moscow and the smell of Russian bread. (That was my sense of humor, which hopefully translated into written form.) It was a story about a lost guitar. In fact, it was Paul McCartney’s Hofner Violin Bass guitar, which he bought in Hamburg, Germany in 1961 for the equivalent of $30.

The guitar was stolen out of the back of a van in the Notting Hill neighborhood in 1972. Last year, at the urging of Mr. McCartney, the Lost Bass project was formed by Hofner marketing manager Nick Wass, former BBC journalist Scott Jones, and television producer Naomi Jones. Their goal was to find that stolen guitar by raising awareness about it. In December, a person living in a home in Hastings, East Sussex, alerted the group that they thought the guitar might be in their attic. Sure enough, it was the long-lost guitar, and it has now been returned to Paul McCartney after 52 years. There’s some damage, but nothing that can’t be repaired.

This story seems to be an extreme version of the old adage that good things come to those who wait. I hope that all of us get to experience the joy of finding something that we thought was long lost, whether it be a physical object, a memory, or a passion that we once had. 

Take care and stay safe.


The Alternative: How to Build a Just Economy by Nick Romeo

Confronted by the terrifying trends of the early twenty-first century – widening inequality, environmental destruction, and the immiseration of millions of workers around the world – many economists and business leaders still preach dogmas that lack evidence and create political catastrophe: Private markets are always more efficient than public ones; investment capital flows efficiently to necessary projects; massive inequality is the unavoidable side effect of economic growth; people are selfish and will only behave well with the right incentives.

But a growing number of people – academic economists, business owners, policy entrepreneurs, and ordinary people – are rejecting these myths and reshaping economies around the world to reflect ethical and social values. Though they differ in approach, all share a vision of the economy as a place of moral action and accountability. Journalist Nick Romeo has spent years covering the world’s most innovative economic and policy ideas for The New Yorker. Romeo takes us on an extraordinary journey through the unforgettable stories and successes of people working to build economies that are more equal, just, and livable. Combining original, in-depth reporting with expert analysis, Romeo explores:  

  • The successful business owners organizing their companies as purpose trusts (as Patagonia recently did) to fulfill a higher mission, such as sharing profits with workers or protecting the environment
  • The growing deployment of new models by venture capital funds to promote wealth creation for the poorest Americans and address climate change.
  • How Oslo’s climate budgeting program is achieving the emission reduction targets the rest of the world continues to miss, creating a model that will soon be emulated by governments around the world
  • How Portugal strengths democratic culture by letting citizens make crucial budget decisions
  • The way worker ownership and cooperatives foster innovation, share wealth, and improve the quality of jobs, offering an increasingly popular model superior to the traditional corporation
  • The public-sector marketplace that offers decent work and real protections to gig workers in California
The job guarantee program in southern Austria that offers high-quality meaningful jobs to every citizen.