EcoEquality

Enough is enough

enough.jpg

Enough is enough - book by
Dan O'Neill and Rob Dietz
"In the end all nations need
to make a transition to a
steady state economy"

Summary of the policy-ideas in the seven main chapters in the
book. Made by Jens Rundberg from the presentation video on
YouTube

1 . Limit Resource Use

Successful example: Montreal
protocol - reducing ozone
destroying pollutants 1987.

We need more policies of this sort - strict
caps on the use of key resources such as
fossil fuels, forrests, fishery. Also on
emissions such as CO2. Caps based on
ecological criteria, best available science.

Once these caps are set,
we can use different
economic tools to make
sure the caps are met.

2. Stabilise Population

To live within ecological limits
we not only need smaller
footprints, we also need fewer
feet.

In Europe no country have a birth rate over the 2,1 children needed to
replace both parents. But some countries wants to increase the population
to grow the economy to be able to fund the pension for an aging
population.

In a steady state economy we need to stabilise population.

In rich countries:
- Adjusting immigration and emigration
- Prevent teenage pregnancies
- Encourage couples to voluntary stop at two children.
In poorer countries:
- Education
- Access to birth control
- Equal rights for women.

Interesting statistics: there is about 80 million unplanned pregnancies per year worldwide, which is about the
same number as the global population is increasing.

3. Limit Inequality

Growth is used as an excuse for
not dealing with poverty: So long
as there is growth there is hope,
and that makes large income
differentials tolerable.

Therefore greater
equality is also a
substitute for
growth.

We can deal with
inequality by setting
both a minimum and a
maximum income
across society.

Is there really any
social reason for
anyone to make
more money than
the prime minister?

In the corporate sector income
inequality is about 500 to 1
In universities and social service functions
the range is about 1 0-20 to 1
Plato said it should be 4 to 1.

4. Reduce Working Hours

We now use the benefit of
technological progress to
produce and sell more stuff
instead of reducing working
hours.

We can instead
have the same
salaries but more
leisure time.

Labor
productivity
increases about
two percent per
year.

If we use this to reduce
working hours we could
have a four-day work week
in 1 2 years and a three-day
work week in 25 years.

5. Reform The Monetary System

By fractional
reserve banking,
banks are allowed
to create money out
of thin air when a
customer signs a
loan contract.

Most of our money is
created by private banks
in the form of debt and
this debt has increased
about nine percent a
year until the financial
crash 2008.

This increasing
debt is driving
inflation and
need for growth
and causes the
system to crash
periodically.

Instead the right to create
money should be altered to a
public institution that decides
what amount is needed and
then transfers that amount to the
government for public spending
into the economy without debt.

6. Rethink Commerce

48 of the
biggest 100
economies in
the world are
corporations.

Corporations
are legally
bound to
maximise
return to their
shareholders.

In a steady state economy
businesses needs to expand
their conception of value to
also generate environmental
and social returns, not only
financial returns.

Social enterprises are already
doing this. We can help expanding
this by promoting alternative legal
structures such as cooperatives
and community interest companies.

7. Change How We Measure Progress

The cleanup
cost for the
BP-disaster in
the gulf of
Mexico was 40
billion dollars.

This disaster actually boasted
GDP. Although 3500 jobs
were lost due to the
moratorium that followed the
disaster, 4000 jobs were
created to clean up the mess.

In a steady state
economy we need
better measures of
progress. We should
replace GDP with two
sets of accounts:

Human wellbeing: things
like health, happiness,
employment and equality.

Resource use and
CO2-emissions, to keep
within ecological limits.

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