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The Green Party supports an economy that puts people first

I have to admit I didn't discover it until recently but the core values of the Green Party seem very much aligned with our activism. 

It was in 1996, that our founder delivered our position paper to President Clinton at the White House. In the core argument, now our manifesto for People-Centered Economics,. it concluded:

"Economics, and indeed human civilization, can only be measured and calibrated in terms of human beings.  Everything in economics has to be adjusted for people, first, and abandoning the illusory numerical analyses that inevitably put numbers ahead of people, capitalism ahead of democracy, and degradation ahead of compassion.

 Each of us who have a choice can choose what we want to do to help or not.  It is free-will, our choice, as human beings."

In 2010 we took the opportunity to present this as our second paper for the International Economics for Ecology conference in Sumy Ukraine.

The 1996 paper begins with a question - .

At first glance, it might seem redundant to emphasize people as the central focus of economics. After all, isn't the purpose of economics, as well as business, people? Aren't people automatically the central focus of business and economic activities? Yes and no.

People certainly gain and benefit, but the rub is: which people? More than a billion children, women, and men on this planet suffer from hunger. It is a travesty that this is the case, a blight upon us all as a global social group. Perhaps an even greater travesty is that it does not have to be this way; the problems of human suffering on such a massive scale are not unsolvable. If a few businesses were conducted only slightly differently, much of the misery and suffering as we now know it could be eliminated. This is where the concept of a "people-centered" economics system comes in."

The Green Party support the creation of jobs that pay a living wage.  that drew me to the cause and led to the "people first" business model being introduced to the UK a year later, where our business plan set out our policy guide:

” Fifty percent of annual surplus will remain in each local community where income is derived, by way of deposit into a local community development bank serving that location. In that locales are part of EU and therefore subject to well-developed rule of law, corruption issues should not present insurmountable barriers such as in Crimea.

Fifty percent of surplus will be retained by P-CED for growth and expansion. Along the way, all employees of P-CED are to be paid at minimum a wage sufficient to guarantee a decent standard of living in accordance with the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The fundamental policy guide for P-CED is the International Bill of Human Rights. IBHR is comprised of Universal Declaration of Human Rights; International Covenant of Civil and Politial Rights, and International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights."

The business plan shared with the social enterprise community warned of the impending threat of iniequality, that it was completely predictaable that it would lead to gobal uprisings.  We saw that here in 2011, but in 2004 we were on the ground in Ukraine in the midst of the Orange Revolution in activites which also align with Green Party policy. Working alongside local civic activists and human rights organsations to propose peaceful intervention through bottom up economic development, a 'Marshal Plan' where people's needs come first:

'This is a long-term permanently sustainable program, the basis for "people-centered" economic development. Core focus is always on people and their needs, with neediest people having first priority – as contrasted with the eternal chase for financial profit and numbers where people, social benefit, and human well-being are often and routinely overlooked or ignored altogether. This is in keeping with the fundamental objectives of Marshall Plan: policy aimed at hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. This is a bottom-up approach, starting with Ukraine's poorest and most desperate citizens, rather than a "top-down" approach that might not ever benefit them. They cannot wait, particularly children. Impedance by anyone or any group of people constitutes precisely what the original Marshall Plan was dedicated to opposing. Those who suffer most, and those in greatest need, must be helped first -- not secondarily, along the way or by the way. '

it was followed up with a call on USAID in 2008, where we re-iternated the argument for peace, in a letter that began:

“Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am writing to you to request your support in advancing critical relief for Ukrainian citizens – with first focus on children in state care, the worst result of Ukraine’s political machinations. This is mentioned in some detail in “A Marshall Plan for Ukraine” referenced at the end of this document. I will fill in some gaps here.

It ended

“We are grossly underfunded in favor of missiles, bombs, and ordnance, which is about 100% backwards. Now, with even the US Pentagon stating that they’ve learned their lesson in Iraq and realize (so says top US general in Iraq ten days or so ago) that winning hearts and minds is the best option, I and others shall continue to think positive and look for aid budgets and funding spigots to be opened much more for people and NGOs in silos, foxholes and trenches, insisting on better than ordnance, and who understand things and how to fix them. We can do that. We can even do it cost-effectively and with far better efficiency than the ordnance route. Welcome to our brave new world. Except it’s not so new: learn to love and respect each other first, especially the weakest, most defenseless, most voiceless among us, then figure out the rest. There aren’t other more important things to do first. This message has been around for at least two thousand years. How difficult is it for us to understand?”

We'd also called on the EU using the platform of the 2008 Citizens Consultation and over the following years made regulat calls on our MEPs. In the last instance with a list of human rights interventions from the Maidan NGO leader who had discovered our founders corpse. it included:

"    5.      Assist the democratic process: Be present in the Ukraine,
witness, enter into dialogue with representatives of the civil society
and churches, support development projects

  6.      Support political reforms and economic development: When the
new government is in place, support Ukraine financially to get on a
path of sustainable economic revival. A kind of „Marshall Plan“, can
bring long-term economic benefits to Ukraine and save it from otherwise
imminent long-term default."

by and large it was disregarded with the exception of Molly Scott-Cato who says that people-centred economics sounds like something the Green part woudl support.  A war now spite of all efforts to leverage support.

Turning my attention toward more local issues in the last few years, the focus of people-centered economics has been in renewable energy here in the Forest of Dean, 

With the application of people-first economics, a living wage policy, business for peace and renewable energy we align very closely with what the Green Party calls for. It needs their support.

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