Today's economic crisis is the worst since the Great Depression. However, as David Korten shows, the steps being taken to address it do nothing to deal with the reality of a failed economic system. It's like treating cancer with a bandage. Korten identifies the deeper sources of the failure: Wall Street institutions that have perfected the art of creating "wealth" without producing anything of real value: phantom wealth.
Our hope lies not with Wall Street, Korten argues, but with Main Street, which creates real wealth from real resources to meet real needs. He outlines an agenda to create a new economy—locally based, community oriented, and devoted to creating a better life for all, not simply increasing profits. It will require changes to how we measure economic success, organize our financial system, even the very way we create money—an agenda Korten summarizes in his version of the economic address to the nation he wishes Barack Obama were able to deliver.