Ecological economists must become activists!

[Another post to the listserv….on August 26, 2011]

I fully agree with Sharon of Australia. What she makes clear is that all of us are facing the same economic, environmental and political problem. But this political aspect is what I saw missing from Sharon’s compassionate description of what needs to happen to improve our economic and environmental situation — but which is critical to acknowledge within the steady state community. From my viewpoint, the economic and environmental situation will never change until the political perception changes to the point where we begin to pass legislation that supports the environment and supports an economy based on people, and not corporations. And it is this struggle between the rights of people and the rights of corporations which will become more and more clear, as our problems intensify, and the causes of them become more and more obvious.

This will require changing the stated public purpose of the institutions that underlie global capitalism: to support an economy that serves people, community and the environment, not an economy that is based on a power elite at the top, which seeks only to deregulate everything to keep profits up for the largest banks and the dominant multi-nationals, many of which are deeply tied either to biggest financial corporations, to the military-industrial complex that supports the American global Empire or to the giant corporations that dominate the energy (fossil fuel and nuclear) and extraction industries, the current economic base.

The political problem is based on the current incorrect paradigm — or popular perception — about why the economy exists. The popular perception about why the economy exists has been a mantra drummed into the public consciousness which is based solely on money and profits and jobs, and that There Is No Alternative — or TINA — an acronym introduced my Magaret Thatcher, I believe.

We all know this is an insufficient framework, which is based on the efficiency principle alone. For a complete solution, we students of ecological economics know that it needs to based on three principles of scale and distribution as well as efficiency. There is so much good analysis out there as to why the current paradigm is so broken, and how a new wholistic view of the economy must change the paradigm, that I do not need to go into that here.

This is why I am supporting the Move To Amend campaign in the US, and encourage you all to do so too, which would strip corporations of their US Constitutional rights, which is the key reason why they have become so powerful and so big. It is also a legal fiction that should never have been allowed to exist in the first place. So I repeat: ecological economists must become activists!

Rick Casey

Boulder, CO

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