Here are some ideas for how we could organise things differently. Please don’t see this as a blueprint or expect us to have an exact roadmap from here to there. Our aim is to show that many alternatives have been developed that deserve to be shared and considered. No doubt there are things we missed (apologies, it's a draft!):
Draft Manifesto for Economic Justice
1. An Economy for the people and planet
Develop (and measure the progress of) an economy that seeks to maximise happiness and minimise harm. Support the development of a mixed, locally-focused economy: small private enterprises, larger cooperatives and public ownership of things best run as monopolies. (Models from economic democracy, PROUT, circular economies and Green economics, with useful lessons from peer progressives may help).
Thinking in ‘systems’ terms:
- Create the offense of Ecocide as the 5th International Crime Against Peace
- Seek and treat causes, not symptoms.
- Ensure that strategies identify (what economists call) ‘resource needs’. In promoting renewable energy sources, for example, ensure that the skills base to install and maintain the technology is available … or can be developed.
- Ensure that spatial planning is not just about ‘land use’ – it has to be about (among other things) public transport, energy, water, amenities, participation.
- See that ‘waste’ (including ‘waste heat’) from one process is an input to another. Use biomimicry.
- See the precautionary principle as some safeguard to the future
- See that actions lead to multiple beneficial outcomes – promoting cycling as a means of personal transport, for example, reduces carbon dependency, promotes good health and reduces noise pollution – but also requires design to ensure road safety.
2. Reduce the potential for corruption and strengthen democracy
- Tackle tax havens and tax dodging (manifesto for Tax Justice through the book Over Here and Undertaxed.)
- Tackle inequality which allows the wealthy to have a larger voice (more below)
- Limit the scale of political donations and lobbying (IDEA’s review and ideas for change)
- Support transparency in lobbying (see Who’s Lobbying for more details)
- Localise decision making as far as possible, introduce liquid democracy
- Prosecute the board members of businesses who break the rules and tame corporations
3. Tackle the Debt Crisis and prevent another from happening
- Re-introduce capital controls (see commentaries by NEF)
- Re- regulate the financial sector to give complete separation ordinary banking and investments (See the Charter for a new Financial System). Use a FinancialTransactionTax to reduce speculation to a minimum. Loans should only be made as sound investments. (Examples are given here and here)
- Support diversity and smaller scale players in the finance sector (like the German model)
- Make it illegal for any enterprise other than the State and local cooperatives to create the nation’s money (and create money as a credit not debt)
- Run a citizens debt audit and cancel toxic debts owed by Governments (CADTM outline debt audits)
- Instigate a Modern Debt Jubilee – give everyone some money to pay off debts (Steve Keens’ proposal for a modern debt jubilee)
- Spend money into the Economy through a Green New Deal
- Put credit into the economy by giving everyone a Citizens income
- Cancel PFI deals
- Reduce financialisation of the economy
- Media (e.g. BBC) must include someone who does not support the financial interests (e.g. the City of London) in discussions about finance, for balance
4. Transform from an economy based on fossil fuels to renewables with reduced consumption
- Undertake a “Great Transition” of the economy as outlined by NEF
- Localise food production through cooperative, permaculture farms (Colin Tudge is good to follow on these issues)
- Plan change into a zero carbon country (for example Zero Carbon Britain)
- Use Green taxes, regulations and tariffs to reduce carbon footprints and pollution (more here)
- Invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy and support community ownership (ideas from the Post carbon institute)
- Reverse desertification across the globe, work with nature (e.g. regenerative agriculture) and reforest to capture all the carbon released since the industrial revolution
5. Tackle inequality and level the playing field
- Promote cooperatives and employee owned businesses.
- Limit the pay differentials in any business, for example to to 15:1
- Introduce a land value charge (and charges for the use of other commons) to free land back to ordinary people.
- Remove the charging of interest for loans (other charges for a service would remain). Think differently about usury and from a Christian perspective.
- Build publicly, cooperatively owned infrastructure, housing and health services (an overview from Common Wealth and a debunking of the myth of public sector inefficiency)