Ten Common Sense Principles for a New Economy

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

Ten Common Sense Principles for a New Economy

David Korten is very concerned that we still haven't learned out lessons from the last meltdown. The proof? Here is David's list of Ten Principles that Sound Like Simple No Brainers, But Directly Support Actions So Radical as to Invite Instant Dismissal:

1. The proper purpose of an economy is to secure just, sustainable, and joyful livelihoods for all.

2. GDP is a measure of the economic cost of producing a given level of human well-being and happiness. As with any well-run business, the proper goal is to minimize the costs of a given level of useful output, not to maximize them.

3. A rational reallocation of real resources can achieve the essential reduction in aggregate human consumption required to bring the human species into balance with Earth’s biosphere simultaneously with improving the health and happiness of all.

4. Markets allocate efficiently only within a framework of appropriate rules that maintain the necessary conditions of competition, cost internalization, balanced trade, domestic investment, and equality.

5. A proper money system roots the power to create and allocate money in people and communities to facilitate the creation of livelihoods and ecologically balanced community wealth.

6. Money, which is easily created with a simple accounting entry, should never be the deciding constraint in making resource allocation decisions.

7. Wall Street financial institutions devoted to speculation, the inflation of financial bubbles, risk externalization, the extraction of usury, and the use of creative accounting to create money from nothing unrelated to the creation of anything of real value serve no social purpose, are all forms of theft, and should be regulated or taxed out of existence.

8. Greed is not a virtue; sharing is not a sin. If your primary business purpose is not to serve the community, you have no business being in business.

9. The only legitimate reason for government to issue a corporate charter extending special privileges favoring a particular enterprise is to serve a clearly defined public purpose. That purpose should be clearly stated in its charter and subject to periodic review.

10. Public policy properly favors local investors and businesses dedicated to creating community wealth over investors and businesses that come only to extract it.

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