It’s a long way from the New York Stock Exchange to the rolling hills of Wisconsin, many miles from that Greco-Roman edifice to the cherry red, LEED-certified headquarters of Organic Valley—itself down the road apiece from George Siemon’s old farm. It’s a return journey, I think. It takes us back to where we began—back to when economies existed to meet human needs, not to ratchet up earnings per share, quarter after quarter. Back to a place where there’s dirt under our feet. Water tables. Biotoxins accumulating (or not accumulating) in the flesh of toddlers. The place where we live. Planet Earth.

At the start of these journeys, the source of our troubles seemed to be the stock exchange—the ancestral home of the founders of the industrial ...

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