The political and economic policies that have shaped our world today systematically favor large, transnational corporations over small local businesses and farmers, ecological health and community well-being. In short, they favor economic growth and corporate profits over the needs of people and the planet. A new approach to economic policy, from the global to the local, is desperately needed - one that both levels the playing field by recalling corporate power, and encourages the revitalization of sustainable and equitable local economies (see Generating Alternatives for information on a range of grassroots initiatives that complement the policy changes explored here).
There are many specific policies that could help advance economic localization. However, the most essential change is that communities and nations regain full democratic control over their economies. This will enable the shifting of policy supports – such as subsides, taxes, and regulations – away from activities that undermine communities and ecosystems, towards those that nurture community, sustainability and equality.
Below you will find a list of key online resources for exploring the kind of policy changes needed to renew local prosperity, worldwide. Certain links focus on international and national policies – from creating a new international economic and financial architecture for the re-regulation of trade and finance, to exercising anti-trust laws, revoking corporate charters or eliminating corporate personhood. Others focus more nationally and locally. We’ve tried to divide the list accordingly (though many organizations do both).
From education to action
Once you’ve learned about the kind of policies needed to encourage localization, it is time to move from education to action.
The problems we face can be overwhelming if we try and take them on as individuals. Joining with other committed individuals is a way to renew community and increase your collective power. Accordingly, we recommend that you start or join a community group, coalition or alliance dedicated to policy change.
Pressure your local and national representatives to sign on to the localization agenda. Let them know where you stand on issues such as the deregulation of trade and finance, the consolidation of corporate power, tax and subsidy policies that favor huge corporations over small farms and businesses, and the need to shift directions in support of local living economies. Demand that they introduce legislation that supports the local economy.
Alternatives to Economic Globalization (IFG)
Focus on the Global South
Environmental Working Group - Farm Subsidies
Global Trade Watch US
Global Trade Watch AU
International Forum on Globalization
Institute for Policy Studies
The International Society for Ecology and Culture
Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First)
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
New Economy Working Group
The New Economics Foundation
Public Citizen's Eye on Trade
Third World Network
BC Food Security Gateway
Big Box Toolkit - Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Community-Wealth A project of the Democracy Collaborative
Crossroads Resource Center
E.F. Schumacher Society
The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability
New Economics Institute
New Economics Foundation
New Economy Network
New Rules Project
Sustainable Economies Law Center
Wal-Mart Subsidy Watch