Nick Romeo: “The Alternative: How To Build A Just Economy”

Recorded on March 19, 2024, this video features a talk by Nick Romeo, New Yorker journalist and lecturer at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, focused on his book, The Alternative: How to Build a Just Economy. The discussant was Sarang Shah, PhD student in the UC Berkeley Department of Political Science. The talk was moderated by Steven Vogel, Il Han New Professor of Asian Studies and Professor of Political Science and Political Economy.

About the Book

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 stories and successes of people working to build economies that are more equal, just, and livable.

About the Author

Nick Romeo
Nick Romeo

Nick Romeo  is a journalist, critic, and essayist. His new book, The Alternative: How to Build a Just Economy (January 2024 from PublicAffairs and Basic Books), uses extensive original reporting to provide a road map for a sustainable and survivable 21st-century economy. He has spent years covering policy and ideas for The New Yorker magazine, where he has explored the neuropsychologist Nicholas Humphrey’s novel theory of consciousness, reported on the world’s largest worker-owned cooperative in Mondragon, Spain, and examined a job guarantee experiment outside of Vienna, Austria.

Nick has contributed front page breaking news stories, profiles, and essays to The Washington PostThe New York TimesScientific AmericanThe AtlanticRolling StoneThe New Republic, and many other venues.