The Economics of Community

The Economics of Community

Dan O'Donnell
Dan O’Donnell

Today much of our economic world is held and controlled by corporate ownership. I wonder what would happen if people of compassion (read religious communities) owned and controlled more of the production and distribution of goods and services? This is not a new or revolutionary idea. These types of communities have been in control more often than you might think. In the 1980’s and into the 90’s I was an agent for the Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company. It is wholly owned by it’s policyholders. Mass Mutual opened its doors in 1851 and today is worth almost 200 billion dollars. I’m not trying to sell insurance here, I’m merely pointing out that there are different types of ownership and control of our economy. What has made this other type of ownership successful? In Mass Mutual’s case, I believe it is their singleness of purpose. In their words:

“…we’ve had a single purpose: to help people secure their future and protect the ones they love.” (Mass Mutual Our History & Purpose)

Saint Paul of the Cross had a single purpose, i.e. to keep alive the memory of the Passion of Jesus. Is it too far a jump to imagine that this dream of St. Paul of the Cross could be realized more fully by Partners affiliating with the Professed to bring financial vibrancy to the marginalized and oppressed of the world, where I believe the passion of Jesus is being experienced today?

In today’s YouTube video Sam Seder interviews Nathan Schneider who tells of a different way of looking at our economy. The interview goes for almost 30 minutes, but I believe you’ll find it interesting as well as challenging if you share the concerns of the marginalized and oppressed and more importantly want to do something about it.

In the words of Edward Kennedy’s eulogy for his brother Robert:

Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?

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