Frontiers of Commoning, with David Bollier

Peter Barnes Makes the Case for 'Universal Property'

Episode Summary

Can property law be used to reclaim our common wealth and transform capitalism in the process? In his new book 'Ours', Peter Barnes, a socially minded entrepreneur and commoner, proposes inventing a new class of property rights -- "universal property" -- to protect land, watersheds and the atmosphere as well as co-inherited civic infrastructures such as our financial and communications systems. The point is to stop investors from privatizing the benefits of this wealth by instead instituting trusts (and other forms) to manage it as universal property. These alternatives can both protect common assets and generate reliable revenue streams shared by everyone.