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Employment and Jobs

Wealth Supremacy: How the Extractive Economy and the Biased Rules of Capitalism Drive Today’s Crises — A Book Talk with Marjorie Kelly




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About this event

Wealth inequality has worsened over the last several decades, with the US having some of the highest inequality among industrialized countries. The top 20% of US households by income hold 70% of the wealth — over $96 trillion —  according to the Federal Reserve. Households in the bottom 20%, by comparison, hold just 3% of the wealth, or $4 trillion. 

In her new book, “Wealth Supremacy: How the Extractive Economy and the Biased Rules of Capitalism Drives Today’s Crises,” Marjorie Kelly of the Democracy Collaborative explains how the bias toward wealth that is woven into the very fabric of American capitalism is damaging people, the economy, and the planet, and she explores what the foundations of a new economy could be. The book exposes the myths underlying wealth supremacy, the bias that institutionalizes infinite extraction of wealth by and for the wealthy, and how this bias is the hidden force behind economic injustice, the climate crisis, and so many other problems of our day. 

Join us on Tuesday, September 12, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT, for a book talk with author Marjorie Kelly to learn about the myths that perpetuate wealth inequality and how the democratization of ownership — public ownership of vital services, worker-owned businesses, and more — can help us build a non-extractive capitalism and economy based on the public interest. Books will be available for purchase and Marjorie will be available to sign books following the event.

Featured Speaker
photograph of the author Marjorie KellyMarjorie Kelly

Marjorie Kelly is Distinguished Senior Fellow with The Democracy Collaborative, and the author, with Ted Howard, of The Making of a Democratic Economy. Her previous books are Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution and The Divine Right of Capital. Kelly is the author of four books, the most recent of which is Wealth Supremacy (Berrett-Koehler, September 12, 2023). Kelly has for years been a thought leader in next generation enterprise design, employee ownership, impact investing, and the building of a democratic economy.

She and her colleagues at The Democracy Collaborative were strategic advisers and designers for the launch of the Fund for Employee Ownership, now housed at the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, which originally was a network of 3 worker-owned firms and has added 4 new firms through conversions by the fund. Kelly also co-authored research on the role of capital in taking employee ownership to scale, and she did research and convening on the model of 50 employee-owned firms that are also B Corporations, which she terms “next generation enterprises.” Jay Coen Gilbert credits Kelly with inspiring the creation of the B Movement of B Corporations with her book The Divine Right of Capital. Previously she was a Fellow at the Tellus Institute and cofounder/president of Business Ethics magazine.

Photo of Maureen Conway
Maureen Conway

Vice President, The Aspen Institute;
Executive Director, Economic Opportunities Program @AspenJobQuality

Maureen Conway serves as vice president at the Aspen Institute and as executive director of the Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program (EOP). EOP works to expand individuals’ opportunities to connect to quality work, start businesses, and build economic stability that provides the freedom to pursue opportunity. View Maureen’s full bio.

Opportunity in America

Opportunity in America, an event series hosted by the Economic Opportunities Program, considers the changing landscape of economic opportunity in the US and implications for individuals, families, and communities across the country. The series highlights the ways in which issues of race, gender, and place exacerbate our economic divides, and ideas and innovations with potential to address these challenges and broaden access to quality opportunity.

We are grateful to Prudential Financial, Walmart, the Surdna Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Bloomberg, and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth for their support of this series.

Learn More

The Economic Opportunities Program advances strategies, policies, and ideas to help low- and moderate-income people thrive in a changing economy. Follow us on social media and join our mailing list to stay up-to-date on publications, blog posts, events, and other announcements.

Event information
Tue Sep 12, 2023
2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
The Aspen Institute
2300 N St. NW,
Washington DC, 20037