Economic Justice

Economic Justice & Sustainability

Green economics is rooted in ecological economics. Our economy should serve us and our planet. Our economy should reflect and respect the diverse, delicate ecosystems of our planet.

Our current economic system is gravely flawed. It is unjust and unsustainable because it is premised on endless economic growth and destruction of nature. Our market economy, by externalizing the environmental and social costs of greenhouse gas emissions, is creating the greatest market failure in history: climate change, and its devastating effects. Our government’s top economic goal — increasing Gross Domestic Product — impels us to perpetually intensify our resource use and environmental destruction.

Green economic policy places value not just on material wealth, but on the things which truly make life worth living — our health, our relationships, our communities, our environment, and building peace and justice throughout our nation and the world. We aim to maximize our quality of life with a minimum of consumption. We aspire to less “stuff” but more happiness. We propose a shift away from materialism to help people live more meaningful lives as we save the planet from climate change and ever-larger mountains of waste. We need to acquire the ability to distinguish between need and greed.

We must also end the colossal waste of taxpayer funds for armaments and war, to reduce our nation’s federal debt, and fund our environmental and social needs.

Greens intend to provide a green job to anyone who wants one. We support using the tax system to bring more equality to our nation. Rising income inequality makes us all poorer in myriad ways. More equal societies are happier, healthier, safer and greener.

Greens support strong local economies and regional trade. The best model of economic security is for a community and region to be largely self-sufficient in the production of its necessities. We support not the corporate control of “free trade” — which, through the machinations of the World Trade Organization places the enrichment of multinational corporations above the level of national laws — but “fair trade,” which protects communities, labor, consumers and the environment. Local economic vibrancy and regional trade keep more money in the community and the region, rather than going to distant corporate headquarters. This is the most sensible model for economic security.

Greens will change the legal design of the corporation so that it does not maximize profits at the expense of the environment, human rights, public health, workers, or the communities in which it operates. We believe the giant multinational corporation is the world’s most potent force for environmental and social destruction.

Unlike other political parties in the modern era, the Green Party views economics not as an end in itself but as a service to community development through the building and strengthening of community bonds that constitute the social fabric.

Greens are defenders of the commons—the vast trove of wealth owned by the people, the social and tangible assets we inherit from generations past. Most people living in this country yearn for a more vibrant and lively commons, such as a richer community life, more parks and protected wilderness, clean air and water, more silence, better access to information and knowledge, and a more nourishing culture. We must stop big business from undermining and stealing our common wealth, such as our public forests and minerals, the fruits of federal research, the public airwaves and the Internet.


What’s changed since 2012?

Occupy Delaware ‘Banksleep’
escalates battle against Bank of America

City responds with request to cease occupation


April 23, 2012

WILMINGTON, Del. — Preparing to escalate their battle against the “Too Big to Fail” banks headquartered in Wilmington, Occupy Delaware was hit by city officials with a threat to abrogate the agreement regarding their six-month encampment in Spencer Plaza. The group intends to take their sleeping bags to the sidewalk outside bank doors in Wilmington, beginning with Bank of America Monday night, April 23.

The announcement from the mayor’s office was seen as a departure from the good relationship Occupy Delaware had maintained with the city.

The city sent Occupy Delaware’s attorney a list of charges, almost all of which were new to Occupy Delaware. The group claims to have corrected every problem brought to its attention, and they have not receive any complaints since December. The group claims to have maintained a clean and safe encampment since its original agreement with the city. If the city saw violations the group asks why it did not bring them to their attention so they could deal with them. Apparently, the city has been conducting surveillance to concoct a case against the group instead of protecting their First Amendment rights. The group enforces a strict policy of respect for the park and respect for the law. The group has asked several individuals who would not abide by the rules to leave.

Claims by the city that the group did not respect the nearby burial site of Peter Spencer seem like a pretext to save from embarrassment bankers whose fraudulent actions have devastated the accumulated wealth of the Black community. Indeed, nothing in the letter sent to the groups attorney offered any evidence that there had been any disrespect at the gravesite. Occupy Delaware has collaborated with Reverend Lawrence Michael Livingston, Pastor of Mother African Union Church, founded by Peter Spencer. Reverend Livingston was an organizer of Occupy the Dream, which joined Occupy Delaware at the Spencer Plaza site.

The city cannot blame Occupy Delaware for social problems that exist city wide, problems that are exacerbated by racism, the economic collapse caused by the plutocracy that dominates the city power structure, and the failed war on drugs.

Occupy Delaware will continue to negotiate in good faith with the city and expects the city to abide with their agreement with Occupy Delaware.

Occupy Delaware comprises a broad variety of voices. Anyone in Delaware who is fed up with a national agenda that is rigged in favor of the wealthiest one percent at the expense of the other ninety-nine percent is welcome to participate. Occupy Delaware does not endorse political candidates or parties.

Stein: Jobs numbers won’t return ‘stolen decades’

Posted April 6, 2012
With the first quarter 2012 federal jobs report out today, Dr.Jill Stein warned that attempts to spin the economic news to favor the Obama administration should not be allowed to mask the reality of the ongoing economic crisis experienced by working people.

“We need to look for more than downticks in unemployment that are not significant when compared to the enormous economic losses that Americans have suffered in recent times. We are years away from getting back to the 5% unemployment rate we had before the recession, and even at that rate, things were falling apart for tens of millions Americans. The economy before the recession was transfer wealth from working people to the super rich. Now almost half of Americans are living in poverty or near poverty.”

According to Stein, the 1980s began 30 years of what she called “The Stolen Decades” in which the real wages and purchasing power of the average American worker began to flatline, and the wages of corporate CEOs shot up dramatically.

“Unemployment is a serious concern. Equally devastating has been the fact that stagnant wages are not letting people get ahead. Workers are dropping out of the middle class. Workers are not able to save for retirement. After adjusting for inflation, the federal minimum wage is $2.75 lower than it was 40 years ago. These have been the stolen decades for working people.”

Stein noted that the so-called ‘signs of recovery’ do not offer any hope to the urban poor, overwhelmingly people of color, who have struggled with mass unemployment, extreme poverty, and lack of economic opportunity for many years.

“When you’re dealing with the harsh reality of youth employment rates above 50% and major segments of the community trapped in a lifetime of crushing poverty, you don’t want to hear your government officials brag about how well their economic policies are working. You want to hear about plans for decisive action. That’s why I’m advocating for a Green New Deal that will provide all the jobs we need – full employment – in the hard-hit communities where we most need them.”

“We need major policy changes to bring economic security to the working people of America” Stein asserted. “The fundamental flaws of an economic policy dictated by Wall Street are apparent, even if they have sometimes been masked by periods of apparent growth that were actually financed by unsustainable credit card and housing debt. Wealth that should be invested in our local economy to create jobs is being put in the hands of the super rich who build factories abroad instead. Families disintegrate while the income of the richest few surges upward. This is changing America in a way that we must not accept.”

“With the loss of a generation’s worth of pension savings and home equity, middle class Americans who once though they had achieved security are staring into the abyss. And for years we told our children that a college education was the key to economic security. Today, an education is often is not enough. Students are coerced into accepting massive student loans they may never be able to repay given the poor job market they face upon graduation. And we’re forcing young people to go to work for wages that are often half of those that their parents earned for the same job.”

“Whatever job numbers are released tomorrow, there is no cause for celebration of this administration’s policies. If elected, I will show Obama’s Wall Street advisors the door, and we’ll bring in the kind of progressive economic team that advised Roosevelt with his original New Deal. We’ll return the wealth that was stolen from working people and invest in America’s future.”

Women who want true representation of their issues and interests should be turning to the Green Party, registering to vote Green Party and becoming active in Green Party politics. We offer the alternative to the two-party mainstream. And the Green Party stands ready to support women’s rights and freedoms in every venue. The American media fail to include the Green Party candidates, platform or values when discussing the serious issues affecting our nation during the 2012 campaign. And they fail to acknowledge the only party in which a woman’s candidacy for presidential nomination is not news … it is expected.

Here is an example from The Daily Beast.

The Women’s Vote and 2012

by David Frum
Apr 2, 2012 12:50 PM EDT

Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake write in the Washington Post today about Mitt Romney’s intensifying problems with women voters:
In mid-February, Obama took less than half of the vote from women under 50 years old. Now he wins more than 60 percent of them. (Obama is ahead of Romney among all women by 18 points.)

Cillizza and Blake point to the contraception debacle of recent weeks as the primary cause of the shift:
That rapid consolidation of women behind Obama seems directly attributable to the focus in the Republican presidential primary on contraception and other reproductive rights issues during the past six weeks or so.

Well, maybe. Up to a point.

But Republicans will make a grave mistake if they persuade themselves that it’s social issues that most strongly motivate women voters.
There is no significant gender gap at all on abortion, for example, according to Pew Research.

No, men and women are divided on economic issues. (Also on issues of war and peace, but that is less pertinent today.) To simplify: American men (and especially white men) respond positively to the language of economic individualism. American women–not so much.

Take a look at this highly detailed study of policy attitudes from Rutgers’ Center for American Women and Politics. The data are based on polls from the mid-1990s, but the realities haven’t changed much in the intervening years:

Q: “Which of these statements comes closer to your own views – even if neither is exactly right? ‘The government should do more to help needy Americans – even if it means going deeper into debt.’ Or ‘The government today can’t afford to do much more to help the needy.’”

Among women, 53% answered “do more.” Among men, 43%.

Under today’s different circumstances, you’d get different digits–but you’d see the same disparity.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

Paul Ryan’s Class Warfare

By Joe Hansen
From the Huffington Post
“Class warfare may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten economics.”

That’s what House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) told Fox News Sunday last September.

I would argue it makes for both rotten politics and rotten economics. And there is no greater example of that than Chairman Ryan’s own budget.

That’s right … the Ryan budget … the one that ends Medicare but continues tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires … is back.

It’s like a bad horror movie.

So what is different this time around? The answer is not much.

It still does nothing to create jobs. It still eviscerates the social safety net. It still fails to invest in education, infrastructure, and clean energy.

But this time around Ryan and his allies plan to talk about it differently. Or as Politico put it, “use the right poll-tested words.”

Read the full story here.

Jewish groups sign on to ‘Faithful Budget’ plan, protest GOP budget proposal

March 22, 2012
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jewish groups are among dozens of religious denominations and organizations endorsing a “Faithful Budget” in opposition to the Republican budget proposal, which would cut Medicaid spending and disproportionately shift Medicare costs to fixed-income seniors.

Thirty-seven religious denominations and organizations signed on to the Faithful Budget proposal, which was unveiled Thursday. It pushes for investment in social safety net programs in order to provide essential needs to the most vulnerable Americans.

“During this time of great need in this country, it is essential that we lift our collective voices to speak to the social and ecological challenges our nation faces,” Rabbi David Saperstein, executive director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said in a statement. “The Faithful Budget begins that effort.”
Read more here.

House floor next for contentious GOP budget plan that cuts social safety net, tax rates

House panel approves contentious GOP budget plan

The top Republican in the House predicted a deficit-slashing GOP budget plan is on track to pass next week despite clearing the Budget Committee by a razor-thin margin.

“I am confident that we will have the votes,” said House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.

But there’s lingering resentment among tea party lawmakers that the bold but contentious blueprint doesn’t go far enough, even though it calls for cutting $5.3 trillion from President Barack Obama’s budget over the coming decade, including sweeping cuts to federal health care programs and social programs aimed at the poor.
Read more here.