Become a Policy Changer
Become a Policy Changer
By International Society for Ecology and Culture / theeconomicsofhappiness.org
Apr 19, 2011

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).

What To Do

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.

Get organized

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.

Organize a meeting with your representatives

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.

Start a letter writing campaign, petition or calling campaign

 

Key online resources for policy change


From the global...

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

Multinational Monitor

New Economy Working Group

The New Economics Foundation

Public Citizen's Eye on Trade

Third World Network

Transnational Institute

Yes! magazine

...to the local

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

Civic Economics

Crossroads Resource Center

E.F. Schumacher Society

The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability

New Economics Institute

New Economics Foundation

New Economy Working Group

New Economy Network

New Rules Project

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First)

The International Society for Ecology and Culture

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Sustainable Economies Law Center

Wal-Mart Subsidy Watch

Yes! magazine

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Become a Policy Changer