End economic growth/ profit maximisation; Make the wellbeing economy real

Repeal the legal obligation for companies, charities etc to make profit maximisation the key driver of their decisions. Legislate to make the wellbeing of people and planet the foremost consideration that guides companies, charities, governments action in place of the current drive for profit.


Currently, economic growth is at the very centre of the National Performance Indicators guiding Government action. Pursuing infinite growth on a finite planet is absolutely devastating. It is driven by the very wealthy appropriating more and more of what were common lands, shared intellectual developments, and public services, to the impoverishment of people and planet.


Creating a wellbeing economy involves returning responsibity to citizens, just as a citizens assembly does. It involves restoring buildings and lands to community ownership, restoring privatised energy, transport and production systems to public (community or national) ownership, and involves taking back control of how we produce our energy, food and everything else we need, rather than leaving decisions about these to those who are only (and legally) guided by the pursuit of ever increasing wealth for themselves.

 

Why the contribution is important

Currently companies, charities, etc are legally obliged to get the 'best' (maximum financial yield) on investments and assets. This means, for example, everything from companies being legally obliged to put profit ahead of the wellbeing of people and planet, to a church not being allowed to hand over a building to a community group rather than make a profit from selling it. Lets directly pursue the 'best’, not hope it might be a side effect of pursuing greed. As David Attenborough says: "pursuing greed is not bringing us joy"


This pursuit of profit above all other considerations has a devastating impact on people, communities and our environment.


A wellbeing economy, centred in restoring public (community and national) ownership can change this.

This idea is important because it is not (as other ideas on this page are) simply focused on the welding economy as an aspiration, but is been clear that we need to recognise the nature of our current system and the damage it wrecks.

 

by justinkenrick on October 24, 2020 at 06:00PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.6
Based on: 19 votes

Comments

  • Posted by Paul October 24, 2020 at 21:11

    This is absolutely essential.
  • Posted by urysteve20steve October 24, 2020 at 21:49

    The David Attenborough Extinction tv programme provides a range of evidence in support of this idea.
  • Posted by JReilly October 25, 2020 at 07:32

    Totally agree. We cannot help the ecological crisis unless we change our view of what goals we are pursuing and abandon the idea of constant economic growth.
  • Posted by DerekP October 25, 2020 at 11:27


    Totally agree that pursuit of continual growth on a finite planet is one of the main drivers of climate and ecological disruption. The “Limits to Growth” were understood as far back as the 1970s!

    The primary purpose of any economy is not producing GDP, it is increasing the wellbeing of people, the whole population. So, we need to empower leaders to focus on delivering increasing true value, not just GDP economic growth – and develop organisations that have a purpose beyond profit. Also, to encourage bold leadership to pursue longer term greater gains, not focus on short term profit. For many orgs, there may have to be a significant transformation.

    However, the imperative to transform due to climate and ecological emergencies, perhaps allows Scotland to recapture the true meaning of value, which very much includes environmental, social / community, individual / wellbeing benefits. Not all decisions and actions taken need to turn a profit to be valuable!
  • Posted by SianMcKinnon October 25, 2020 at 20:01

    Our system is not able to make the level of changes necessary while it is predicated on the concept of continual growth. Individual action cannot sort this out. We need to acknowledge that the current system is not 'fit for purpose' to address the climate emergency, and so we need to change our economic system, because the climate emergency won't go away. And if we take no action, it will only get worse, quicker.
  • Posted by SallyK October 25, 2020 at 22:17

    I very much agree with the above contributions. A wellbeing economy is an idea whose time has come: it is essential that the CCA considers the kind of society that we could, with enough political will, create together. So that out of a time of crisis and fear there might emerge something so much better. Scotland, like New Zealand, could be leading the world in this.
  • Posted by JohnH October 26, 2020 at 14:33

    I applaud the aim here but as someone running charities and businessesyou have misrepresented the sense of a legal obligation here. A charity trustee is free to ensure that their asset are best used which could involve ethics over profit or even giving them away freely if there was a good charitable reason for it.
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