Agenda: To identify and popularize actions that support a transition to a global system of rules and institutions designed to act at the global level to ensure universal rights and protect the integrity of the biosphere and act at all levels to ensure that decisions are taken at the most local level feasible and that the rights of regions to pursue diverse paths are protected.
Wall Street interests have been particularly active over the past thirty years in redefining global rules and institutions to favor the narrow interests of global corporations over the rights and protection of people, communities, and the environment. Mechanisms to secure the rights of people and the integrity of the biosphere have been systematically weakened while corporate rights and protections have been strengthened in nearly every international arena. Global trade rules allow laws developed through a democratic process to be challenged as “unfair barriers to trade.” U.S. trade and investment agreements allow corporations to sue governments over actions -- including health, environmental and other public interest regulations -- that diminish the value of their investments.
International financial institutions have relentlessly promoted a deregulatory agenda that favors money over life and the private interests of the few over the public interests of the many and limited the authority of decision makers at all levels to pursue alternative economic paths. [See: Rules that Favor Equitable Living Earth Communities]
The current global rules and institutions were put in place by Wall Street interests to facilitate a consolidation of economic decision power in global corporations and financial markets delinked from accountability to human or natural interests. These rules and institutions create a privatized system of centralized economic planning that seeks unlimited growth without regard for the consequences. (click here to read more)
Rules that Favor Equitable Living Earth Communitites
These Old Economy rules and institutions must be replaced with New Economy rules and institutions that support local, living economies and the public interest. New Economy rules and institutions would protect the right to democratic self-determination (at the local, regional and national level), while acting at the global level to set international standards for universal human rights and environmental protection. The rules appropriate to an equitable living economy are nearly mirror opposites to those now in place. [See: New Economy Governance Principles]
As we learn to design and manage local and national economies in concert with the planet’s ecosystems, we must restructure our economic institutions at all levels to work within a system of bounded, locally rooted self-organizing ecosystems. [See: Shared Prosperity and Healthy Economies for Healthy Ecosystems] This will require replacing existing global rules and institutions with new rules and institutions that secure the rights and abilities of people everywhere to control and manage their local and regional resources. Primary goals should be sustained local and regional self-reliance in meeting essential needs and encouraging the sharing of culture, technology, and surplus resources. [See: Local Living Economies]
For economies to work for the interests of the many rather than the few, they need proper rules and permeable managed borders to maintain the conditions of efficient market function. These rules must support limits on the size of individual firms, maintain balanced trade and an equitable distribution of market power, favor living enterprises for which community service is the primary mission, and assure that the true cost of each good or service is internalized in its market price. The right of every nation and community to decide with whom it will trade and invite to invest in its economy and on what terms must be recognized. [See: New Global Rules and Institutions]
Publicly Accountable Institutions
In the New Economy, existing international trade and financial institutions would be replaced by publicly accountable institutions. The institutions would have mandates to:
- Create a framework of standards and rules that protect universal rights and the biosphere,
- Secure the right of all peoples to democratic economic self-determination and encourage local self reliance in meeting basic needs,
- Keep trade in balance among nations and maintain fair commodity prices,
- Provide open access to information and knowledge,
- Encourage stable and productive rather than speculative investment,
- Assure that the basic conditions of fair and efficient market function are maintained in global markets and transactions, including restraints on the size and power of any corporation with transnational operations, and
- Adopt responsible lending standards to prevent future debt crises and cancel the existing debts of impoverished nations to allow them the flexibility to pursue alternative economic paths.