New Economy Building an economy on Quaker Principles
Our lived testimony to equality, truth, integrity, simplicity, sustainability and peace leads us to a fundamental critique of the present economic system. We are led to seek an economy which recognises the value of all people alive now and of all living things, and of those who may live in a future time. Our vision is rooted in compassion, our sense of the sacred in everything and desire for universal peace.
The New Economy is one of the strands of Economic Justice proposed by the Quaker movement which also includes ethical finance, trade, social security and the living wage. Full details - Economic Justice
Principles for a New Economy 1. The purpose of the economy is the enhancement of all life, human and non-human. 2. We do not over-consume the earth’s resources. 3. All (including future beings) have an equal right to access and make use of global commons such as land, soil, water, air, and the biosphere’s capacity to process greenhouse gases, within the limits of what is sustainable. 4. Everyone needs time and resources to participate in community life. 5. The well-being of people and planet are not sacrificed to preserve profits or reduce national deficits. 6. Since money plays such a key role in the economy, it is created under democratic control, for positive social benefit rather than private profit. 7. A fundamental equality is recognised, not limited by race, gender or social origin. Achieving greater equality in income, 8. The tax system redistributes from richer to poorer, with richer people paying a greater proportion of their income. 9. Businesses are structured and owned in a variety of ways. Cooperatives and community-owned enterprises form a large part of the economy as well as private and national ownership. 10. A revitalised, participative and more truly representative democracy is key to our peaceful and prosperous coexistence.
These principles were written by the Economics, Sustainability & Peace Subcommittee of Quaker Peace & Social Witness. They are intended to stimulate thinking and debate within the Quaker community but they are important principles for all communities to consider. The principles are deliberately aspirational. They reflect Quaker hopes for a different kind of economic system rather than critique our current economy. This document marks the start of a new project on the ‘new economy’. For more information on these principles download the Principles for a New Economy leaflet.
Booklets on the New Economy Quaker Peace & Social Witness have published a series of seven booklets about the new economy. Designed for reading group discussion and individual contemplation, each booklet looks at different aspects of the economy and contains key facts, ideas for action and questions for reflection.
1 – What's the economy for? This booklet asks what the aims of economic policy should be, and looks at different ways to measure economic success. Download What is the economy for? (PDF) to get started.
6 – Ownership in the new economy The booklet reviews the political power of ownership and looks at examples of progressive and sustainable models for property stewardship. Download Ownership in the new economy (PDF).