Now this is fun. The new economics foundation in the UK has come up with a report they call "The Great Transition". Here's the BBC viewpoint by Andrew Sims the nef policy director. Below is the description from their website.
A year on from the collapse of major banks, and less than 50 days before the UN Climate Change talks in Copenhagen, the new economics foundation is providing policymakers with the first comprehensive blueprint for an economy based on stability, prosperity, fairness, sustainability and well-being.
The report sets out seven main interventions, including a 'great revaluing' to ensure that prices reflect true social and environmental costs, 'a great rebalancing' that sets out a new productive relationship between markets, society and the state, and 'a great economic irrigation' that builds an 'ecology of finance' so that money and investment flows where it is most needed.
Specific policy proposals include:
This is a bold vision. But nothing short of a Great Transition will be up to the task of tackling climate change, ending cycles of boom and bust and putting a stop to inequality. We show that not only is such a bold vision necessary, it is possible.
- Creating a universal Citizen's Endowment of between £40,000 and £50,000 to give every adult an equal chance in life and the opportunity to invest in education, a business or local productive assets. This would be funded by a phased rise in inheritance tax on all estates up to 67% and go a major way to reducing the massive inequalities of inherited wealth in the UK.
- Land and property transferred to state and then redistributed to communities, forming community land trusts, where land is commonly owned and managed on a stewardship basis by communities, underpinning the provision of affordable or social housing.
- Redistributing working time by instituting a four day working week for all that would enable the 1/3rd reduction in GDP without major loss of jobs
- A major reorganisation of business, with publicly listed companies progressively transferring shares to their staff, giving them a real stake in and control over the companies where they work. This would lead to the creation of a series of co-operatives, operating in regulated markets, and subject to competition from new companies. Such a process would fundamentally change power relations within workplaces, creating a form of 'economic democracy'.
- New variable consumption taxes, replacing income tax, reflecting the social and environmental costs of goods. A windfall tax on the profits of fossil fuel companies, for example, could channel funds into clean energy projects.
- Direct government created credit for large-scale green energy and transport projects, channelled through a national Green Investment Bank
- A new national Housing Bank, offering people the opportunity to transfer a portion of their mortgage debt into equity and paying social rent on the balance.
- New regulations on private banks' reserve requirements directly related to the social and environmental value of investments, creating a 'race to the top' and reducing speculation and 'credit bubbles'