A Call to Action: Five Proposals to Support the Emerging Maker Economy


This paper from Etsy, an online platform connecting small, independent producers to the market, identifies strategies to support the growth of small-batch manufacturing. The report recommends investments in manufacturing support services as well as asset building initiatives so that small-batch manufacturers can better connect to local production partners and reduce the financial risks involved in starting a business. The paper also highlights the opportunity to incorporate entrepreneurship training into workforce development programs. 

Advantage Local: Why Local Energy Ownership Matters

John Farrell

John Farrell, senior researcher for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, compares the economic and environmental impact of locally owned utilities against absentee-owned utilities. Finding that local ownership not only encourages a more rapid adoption of renewable sources of energy but also generates local economic activity and jobs, Farrell recommends that states create incentives for locally owned projects. Farrell cites examples of successful community ownership models in Minnesota, Washington, and Colorado and argues for the cessation of current state and federal tax incentives that privilege commercially owned projects.

The Making of Ferguson: Public Policies at the Root of its Troubles

Richard Rothstein

This paper from the Economic Policy Institute encourages a critical examination of the role of structural racism, as embedded in policy, that has fostered extreme inequality in the St. Louis metropolitan area—made apparent after the shooting of Michael Brown. Author Richard Rothstein, Research Associate at the Economic Policy Institute and senior fellow of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, finds that the institutionalization of racially prejudiced real estate, banking, insurance, and land use policies at the federal, state, and local level, fostered and continue to promulgate racially segregated neighborhoods with high poverty, unemployment, and oppressive policing.