Economies that Mimic Healthy Ecosystems

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The framing question of the casino economy is: "Which of the available resource allocation choices will produce the greatest financial return." The framing question of a living economy is: "Which available resource allocation choices will make the greatest contribution to the long-term health and well-being of people and the larger community of life on which human well-being ultimately depends." These contrasting questions assume very different forms of economic organization and lead to very different resource allocation choices with very different outcomes. [See An Epic Choice] Living Earth economies:

  • Nurture the health and well-being of people, community, and the natural environment by growing knowledge, creativity, caring relationships, and the ecosystem's regenerative capacity;
  • Favor locally owned enterprises that work in harmony with natural systems, provide meaningful living-wage jobs, treat profit as a means rather than an end, and cooperate with other businesses to create community wealth for all stakeholders;
  • Support regional self-reliance in meeting needs for food, energy, waste absorption, and other basic needs in balanced relationship with local ecosystems;
  • Cooperate with their neighbors through the free sharing of knowledge and technology and the fair and balanced exchange of surplus production for that which they cannot readily produce for themselves;
  • Distribute wealth equitably and feature broadly based participation in ownership of homes and businesses;
  • Foster a joyful cultural life that nurtures a distinctive sense of cultural identity and connection to place.

Living Earth economies offer more life for less money. They support greater equality, stability, self-reliance, fulfilling work, leisure, and caring relationships with less debt, less wasteful consumption, less violence, and less energy consuming travel and transport.