Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

Principles for Designing a New Economy

Posted Sep 3, 2011 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 2 Comments

It’s becoming more and more clear that the current economic design does not have a future; at least not a viable future.  If you have not yet come to this conclusion, you probably have not been paying attention.  The good news is that a multitude of groups are creatively developing alternative economies.  One way to further this work is to clarify the basic principles that we should use in these endeavors.  I propose the following for your reflections:

  1. Integrity:  Economic reflections should represent all people’s needs for adequate provisions to live a good life, as well as the whole process of making such provisions from nature’s sources to resources for human and non-human communities.
  2. A Civic Foundation:  The economy must be based on the rights of global citizens and guided by civic conversations grounded in moral equality and reciprocity.
  3. Fulfillment of Basic Needs:  The exercise of human freedom requires an economy that ensures all people have the means to meet such basic needs as food, shelter, clothing, security, health, and integrity.
  4. Civic Money:  Money should function as a means for more effectively providing for one another (through providing credit and paying taxes), instead of a commodity owned of financial institutions.
  5.  Sustainability:  All systems of provision, such as the food or housing system, must be designed for planetary sustainability.
  6. Subsidiarity:  The making of provisions for everyone is managed at the level of governance—local, regional, national, or global—where it is most effective in supporting and protecting democratic communities.
  7. Systemic Justice:  Any profit that a system creates should be re-distributed to the whole system through taxes.
  8. Stop illegal businesses:  Trafficking in humans, drugs, and weapons, which now provide significant support for the global economy, must be stopped.

2 Responses to “Principles for Designing a New Economy”

  1. John Moyer says:

    September 30, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Proposed addition to #8. Illegal banking practices including laundering income from global crime and supporting offshore banking for depositors that use this to avoid paying taxes. These practices amount to 20% of the gross world product. 9. Stop and or contain private contracters creating private armies and private intelligence and spying operations.
  2. Marvin Brown says:

    September 30, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Good additions. A new economy must stop stop the corruption as well as start providing for all.

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Marvin T. Brown, Ph.D teaches business and organizational ethics at the University of San Francisco and Saybrook University in San Francisco.

This book is the culmination of 30 years of teaching and writing on business and society from a communicative perspective. Visit for more information.

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