A New Economy
“Real wealth includes all things that have intrinsic value, such as land, labor, knowledge, health, and education.
The most valuable forms of real wealth are beyond price: healthy, happy children; strong families; caring communities; a secure, dignified, and meaningful source of livelihood; healthy, biodiverse ecosystems; and peace.
A real wealth economy is devoted to enhancing the quality of life for all, in contrast to a phantom wealth economy devoted to making money for the few in order to control and consume real wealth produced by others.”
– David Korten
We join together to build an economy that works for all of the human beings in our world, and that aids us in creating a sustainable and reverent relationship with our planet and with all other creatures.
We believe that this can only happen when people have the constitutional power to hold corporations to high ethical, environmental and social standards, and thus we are working to pass the ESRA: Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment.
We advocate for legislation that would require that all corporations chartered by the Congress and by the several States shall demonstrate the ethical, environmental, and social impact of their proposed and/or past activities at the time they seek permission to operate and/or upon renewal of their corporate charter. Corporations would need to prove a satisfactory history to grand jury of ordinary citizens. Factors to be considered by the grand jury in determining whether a corporation will be granted a charter shall include but not be limited to:
1. BENEFICIAL PRODUCTS AND SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES - The degree to which the products produced or services provided are beneficial rather than destructive to the planet and its oceans, forests, water supplies, land, and air, and the degree to which its decisions help ensure that the resources of the earth are available to future generations.
2. LIVING WAGES AND QUALITY OF LIFE FOR WORKERS – The degree to which it pays a living wage to all its employees and the employees of any contractors with which it does business either in the US or abroad, and arranges its pay scale such that none of its employees or contractors or members of its board of directors or officers of the corporation earn (in direct and indirect benefits combined) more than ten times the wages of its lowest full-time wage earners; the degree to which it provides equal benefits including health care, child care, retirement pensions, sick pay, and vacation time to all employees; and the degree to which its employees enjoy satisfactory safety and health conditions; and the degree to which it regularly adopts and uses indicators of its productivity and success which include factors regarding human well-being, satisfaction and participation in work, and involvement in community service by its employees and members of its top management and board of directors;
3. BENEFIT FOR THE COMMUNITY IN WHICH IT OPERATES – The degree to which it supports the needs of the communities in which it operates and in which its employees live, including the degree to which it resists the temptation to move assets or jobs to other locations where it can pay workers less or provide weaker environmental and worker protections.
4. DEMOCRATIC AND TRANSPARENT COMMUNICATIONS – The degree to which it encourages significant democratic participation by all its employees in corporate decision making; the degree to which it discloses to its employees and investors and the public its economic situation, the factors shaping its past decisions, and its attempts to influence public discourse, and the degree to which it follows democratic procedures internally
5. REWARDING CARING BEHAVIOR – The degree to which it treats its employees, its customers, and the people and communities in which it operates with adequate respect and genuine caring for their well-being, and rewards its employees to the extent that they engage in behaviors that manifest genuine caring, respect, kindness, generosity, and ethical and environmentally sensitive practices.
6. BENEFIT TO THE TARGET AND RESOURCE COMMUNITIES – The degree to which its investment decisions enhance and promote the economic, social, and ethical welfare and physical & mental health and well-being of the communities in which its products may be produced, sold, or advertised and/or the communities from which it draws raw materials.
7. BANKING PRACTICES THAT BENEFIT SOCIETY AND MITIGATE POVERTY – When assessing the environmental and social responsibility of banks, stock markets, investment firms and other corporations whose activities include the lending or investing of monies, in addition to the issues 1-6 above, the jury should also consider: the degree to which the financial institutions direct the flow of money to socially and/or environmentally useful activities, including non-profits serving the most disadvantaged of the society and including the financing of local business cooperatives and local community banks and to support low-income and middle income housing with affordable mortgages, rather than directing the money to speculators in finance, real estate, or other commercial activities; the degree to which it forgives loans previously given to poverty stricken countries; the degree to which it engages in misleading advertising or hides the costs of its services in small print or engages in aggressive marketing of monies for loans or preys on the most economically vulnerable; the degree to which it offers no-interest loans to those with incomes below the mean average income in the society; and the degree to which it seeks to fund directly socially useful projects and small businesses.
We have a detailed plan laid out in the ESRA. If you haven’t done so, please sign and endorse the ESRA! We hope you will join us!