In its report “The Great Transition”, the New Economics Foundation sketch an outline of how to reach what E. F. Schumacher would have called an “economy of permanence.”
The sections of the report include: The Great Revaluing, the Great Redistribution, the Great Rebalancing, the Great Localization, the Great Reskilling, the Great Economic Irrigation, and the Great Interdependence. We will focus on each element separately in future eNewsletters. Read the full report here.
In the Great Revaluing, we make the case that building social and environmental value should be the central goal of policy-making. We also argue that this needs to be true for private as well as for public decision-making, with market prices reflecting real social and environmental costs and benefits. We need to make ‘good’ things cheap and ‘bad’ things very expensive – too often this is the opposite of what we have today. As long as the achievement of good outcomes is separate from the real business of business, we will not see these outcomes achieved. Similarly, public policy cannot hope to create the best possible social and environmental outcomes unless this is at the heart of policy-making. In both cases, building real value requires us to accurately measure these outcomes and to build these measures into the core of public and private decision-making. This is a vital first step, upon which much else that is proposed in this report depends.
The Schumacher Center for a New Economics is working closely with NEF to develop the practical details of how to achieve this transition in our economic system. It is an ambitious undertaking, but a global New Deal along the lines outlined is essential for environmental reasons, and also to finally rid the world of poverty and inequality. Locally, nationally and globally we need to change direction quickly and radically. We need nothing short of a new economics to collectively build a different future.