The Common Welfare Economy

The Common Welfare Economy is an economic system based on values that favour social welfare. These values are already covered in the large majority of national constitutions and guaranteed by law (justice, equal opportunities, etc) so really what is actually being proposed is just putting them into practice. It is a real alternative (many companies have been following its principles since it was created in 2010) and a force for social, economic and political change.

According to a study by the Bertelsmann Foundation, 80% of Germans and 90% of Austrians expect a new economic order to appear. The economist and university professor Christian Felber, interviewed in the video, developed an alternative to current systems in his book ‘New values ​​for the economy’ (Deuticke, 2008), in order to escape the sterile dichotomy which holds that ‘who is against Capitalism, is for Communism’ and offer a specific and viable system for the future. Subsequently, these approaches were reviewed and refined by a group of entrepreneurs who, along with Felber himself inaugurated the movement with the publication of the book ‘Economics for the Common Welfare (Deuticke, 2010), which reflects its founding principles, and which can be summed up by the following 20 points:

1. The Economy of the Common Welfare is based on values ​​that make our personal relationships thrive: trust, cooperation, affection, democracy, solidarity… Numerous studies and research concur that achieving satisfying relationships is the main source of motivation and happiness in human beings.

2. The economic legal framework undergoes a radical shift, changing the equation ‘Profit + Competition’ to ‘Desire for public welfare + Cooperation’. Entrepreneurs with a spirit of cooperation are rewarded, and competitive behaviour is penalised.

3. Economic success is not measured by prioritizing the amount of money obtained, but with the Common Welfare Balance Sheet (CWBS, on a company level) and the Common Welfare Product (CWP, on a system level). The Common Good Balance becomes the principal balance of all companies and the more social, ecological, democratic and committed the activity, the better the results. Improving the results of the Common Welfare Balance Sheet of a country’s companies improves their Common Welfare Product.

4. Companies with healthy Common Welfare Balance Sheets enjoy legal advantages: reduced tax rates, advantageous tariffs, cheap loans, privileges in public procurement, concessions in research programs, etc. The entry into the market is therefore more favourable for ethical products and services than for those are not.

5. The balance sheet is secondary, changing from an end in itself into the way to increase the ‘new’ business purpose: contribution to the Common Welfare. Balance surpluses should be used to finance investments with social and ecological gains, loan payback, deposits in limited reserves or limited bonuses to employees, as well as interest free loans for cooperating companies. No surplus will be used as bonuses for people who do not work in the company, for hostile takeovers of other firms, investment in financial markets (which will cease to exist) or contributions to political parties.

6. As financial gain is now a means and not an end, companies can have and maintain their own optimum size. They do not need to be afraid of takeovers or feel forced to grow to be bigger, stronger or show greater profits. All companies are freed from the pressure of the growth or buy–outs.

7. With companies being able to grow to their optimum size without fear, there will be many small businesses in all sectors. With no pressure to grow, it will be easier for them to cooperate together. They can help each other with knowledge, technology, commissions, staff or interest–free loans. They will be rewarded with positive results in the Common Welfare Balance Sheet. Companies create a disinterested learning community and the economy becomes a win–win system.

8. Differences in income and assets will be regulated: the maximum income limited to 20 times the minimum wage; properties may not exceed a 10 million euro value; the right of transfer and inheritance will be up to €500,000 per person, and up to 10 million euros per child in family businesses. Any surplus generated beyond these limits will be distributed as ‘democratic endowment’ for future generations: equality in the initial capital means greater equality of opportunity (the exact margins must be defined democratically in an economic assembly).

9. In large companies, over a certain number of workers (e.g., over 250) the rights of decision and ownership move over partially and gradually to employees and citizens. The population can be represented directly through ‘regional economic parliaments’. The government has no right to intervene or make decisions in public companies.

10. This is equally true for the democratic commons, the third property category together with a majority of small and medium businesses and large mixed ownership firms. For democratic commons we understand public institutions in the fields of education, health, social welfare, transport, energy and communication: society’s basic infrastructures.

11. A major democratic commons is the democratic bank. It serves, like all companies, the Common Welfare and, like all of them, is controlled by the people and not by the government. Its services include guaranteed savings deposits, free checking accounts, reduced interest loans and social risk loans. Financial markets will no longer exist as we now know them.

12. Based on John Maynard Keynes’ proposal in 1944, a global monetary cooperation is established based on a unit of calculation (‘Globo’ or ‘Terra’) for international trade. Locally, regional currencies can complement the national currency. To protect against unfair competition, the EU becomes a fair trade zone (Common Welfare Area) with harmonized standards or where customs duties are linked to with the CGBS of the producing company. A long–term goal is a Common Welfare Area in the United Nations.

13. Nature is given its own value, and cannot be turned into private property. When somebody needs a piece of land to live, to cultivate or for business, they are given a limited amount for free or paying a usage fee. The use of the land is conditioned by ecological criteria and limited to its specific use. This will end building speculation, land-grabbing and large–scale individual land ownership. In consequence, taxation on land ownership will be eliminated.

14. Economic growth ceases to be an end in itself, improving the ecological footprint of people, companies and nations. Kant’s catagorical imperitive will be extended to the environmental dimension. Our freedom of to choose a specific lifestyle will be limited when it in itself limits the freedom of others to choose the same lifestyle or to live in dignity. People and companies will be encouraged to measure their ecological footprint and reduce it to a sustainable and fair global level.

15. The working week will be gradually reduced towards the figure (agreed upon by the majority) of 25–30 hours per week. Therefore there will be free time for other areas of highly important work: relationships, caregiving (of children, the sick and the elderly), personal growth (self–improvement, the arts, leisure activities) and political and public activity.

16. Every tenth year will be taken as a sabbatical that will be financed by a minimum wage with no obligations attached. People can do whatever they wish in this period. This measure will reduce the burden on the labour market and make European Community unemployment levels fall by 10%.

17. Representative democracy will be complemented by direct participatory democracy. The people must be able to control and correct their own representation, enact laws themselves, amend constitutions and manage supply infrastructures (railways, post office system, banks, etc). In a real democracy, the interests of the people and its representatives are identical. A basic requirement for this is for the people to have the freedom of collaboration and control.

18. All major points must mature through intense discussions on a broad popular base before becoming laws made by an directly elected economic assembly: the outcome will be voted democratically by the people. What is accepted will be introduced in the constitution and can only be modified once again by the people’s will. Apart from the Economic Assembly of the Common Welfare, there will be other assemblies to study democracy in depth: a education convention, a communication media convention and a convention for the creation of democratic goods.

19. To establish in children the values ​​of the Economy of the Common Welfare and provide them with tools so that they can learn, the following subjects will be introduced in educational programs: emotionology, ethics, communication, democratic education and the experience of nature.

20. Given that in the Common Welfare Economy the concept of business success means something quite different to its present day meaning, other forms of management shall be established: those individuals most responsible and competent, the most empathetic and sensitive, those who think and feel in an ecological and social manner, will be in higher demand and will become role model for society.

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array(4) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#1681 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2232) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2055" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-05-28 00:04:03" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-05-27 22:04:03" ["post_content"]=> string(6450) "La no violencia activa es una táctica de protesta, relacionada con la desobediencia civil, que propugna el logro de un cambio político, social y cultural revolucionario sin necesidad del empleo de la violencia. El término se acuña en los años 30 y 40 del siglo XX con el movimiento de independencia indio liderado por Mahatma Gandhi, que a su vez se inspiró en León Tolstói, con quien incluso mantuvo correspondencia, y en el escritor y filósofo estadounidense Henry D. Thoreau. Aunque ha habido numerosos ejemplos posteriores y bien conocidos, como Martin Luther King y Jesse Jackson en Estados Unidos, la Revolución de los Claveles en Portugal o el sindicato Solidaridad de Lech Walesa en Polonia, también existen sólidos éxitos anteriores en la aplicación de estos métodos: los finlandeses consiguieron mayor autonomía de la Rusia zarista en 1905, Hungría se independizó de Austria en 1867 y los plebeyos romanos se rebelaron contra los patricios por sus derechos como ciudadanos, en la que quizá sea la lucha sin violencia original. W_novecento
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Escultor de formación, trabaja en entornos digitales para la publicidad desde 1994, es autor de obra multimedia y de campañas digitales y superviviente de la primera burbuja de Internet. Refugiado en la industria editorial, lleva a cabo colaboraciones varias y es responsable de 'Random Soundscapes' para Rojo Magazine y de 'Lettering Beyond Computer Graphics', una recopilación sobre el fenómeno lettering. Master en medios sociales y reincorporado a la publicidad como social media strategist desde 2009, actualmente trabaja en The Fact como director creativo en el desarrollo de aplicaciones, websites, campañas digitales, nuevos medios y medios sociales.'Paying for content is an act of rebellion'. Sculptor training, he works in digital environments for advertising since 1994, is the author of multimedia work and digital campaigns, and survivor of the first Internet bubble. Refugee in the publishing industry, is responsible for 'Random Soundscapes' for Rojo Magazine and 'Lettering Beyond Computer Graphics', a compilation of the lettering phenomenon. Master in social media and reinstated in advertising as social media strategist since 2009, Daniel is currently working on The Fact as creative director in application development, websites, digital campaigns, new media and social media. " ["post_title"]=> string(114) "WHAT ABOUT: El futuro por Daniel BlancoWHAT ABOUT: The future by Daniel Blanco" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(38) "what-about-the-future-by-daniel-blanco" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 15:00:01" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 13:00:01" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=5410" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#1683 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5865) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2014-05-12 00:01:52" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-05-11 22:01:52" ["post_content"]=> string(3297) "'Sé por experiencia que cuanto más das, más recibes'. Albañil y militante anarquista nacido en Navarra, huyó a Francia en 1954 después de desertar del servicio militar. Debido a su actividad clandestina en pro de grupos de extrema izquierda internacionales es considerado como una especie de Robin Hood, aunque en palabras de Albert Boadella 'Lucio es un Quijote que no luchó contra molinos de viento, sino contra gigantes de verdad'. Amigo de André Breton y Albert Camus, a lo largo de su vida ha participado en un gran número de actos contra el sistema capitalista que supusieron que se dictaran en su contra cinco órdenes internacionales de busca y captura, incluida una de la CIA. Destacan la proposición al Che Guevara para falsificar masivamente dólares americanos —finalmente rechazada—, la participación en la preparación del secuestro del nazi Klaus Barbie en Bolivia, la colaboración en la fuga del líder de los Panteras Negras, la intercesión en el secuestro de Javier Rupérez o su colaboración en la fuga de prisión de Albert Boadella, que se encontraba en espera de un juicio por un delito de injurias al ejército. Además simpatizó con los Grupos Autónomos de Combate-Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación y con los posteriores Grupos de Acción Revolucionaria Internacionalista —GARI—, manteniendo una especial relación con uno de los miembros más destacados de estos últimos, el francés Jean-Marc Rouillan. Siempre ha defendido el trabajo: 'Somos albañiles, pintores, electricistas, no necesitamos el Estado para nada'. Actualmente sigue participando en la difusión de las ideas anarquistas y continúa viviendo en París de su trabajo de albañil, en una casa con las puertas abiertas.'I know from experience that the more you give, the more you receive'. Mason and militant anarchist born in Navarra, he fled to France in 1954 after defecting from military service. Due to its clandestine activities towards international left-wing groups is considered as a kind of Robin Hood, but in the words of Albert Boadella 'Lucio is a Quijote that did not fight windmills, but against real giants'. Friend of André Breton and Albert Camus, throughout his life has been involved in numerous acts against the Capitalist system which supposed five international search orders, including one of the CIA. 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["post_title"]=> string(114) "WHAT ABOUT: El futuro por Lucio UrtubiaWHAT ABOUT: The future by Lucio Urtubia" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(38) "what-about-the-future-by-lucio-urtubia" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 14:58:06" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 12:58:06" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=5865" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#1806 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2938) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-07-09 00:05:51" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-07-08 22:05:51" ["post_content"]=> string(3789) "Noam Chomsky es un lingüista, filósofo y activista estadounidense. Profesor emérito de lingüística en el MIT —Instituto Tecnológico de Massachusetts—, está considerado una de las figuras más destacadas en dicha especialidad gracias a sus trabajos sobre teoría lingüística y ciencia cognitiva, como la Jerarquía de Chomsky. Doctor Honoris Causa por la Universidad Nacional de Colombia, la Universidad de la Frontera de Chile y la Universidad Autónoma de México, el periódico The New York Times llegó a definirlo como 'el más importante de los pensadores contemporáneos'. Aunque quizá la faceta más popular de Chomsky sea su firme compromiso con la política, que comenzó en los años de la guerra de Vietnam y le llevó a afiliarse al sindicato IWW / Industrial Workers of the World —Trabajadores Industriales del Mundo—. Su activismo está caracterizado por una fuerte crítica al capitalismo contemporáneo, a la política exterior de Estados Unidos e Israel y a la manipulación de la población por parte de la élites económicas y los gobiernos. Uno de sus principales aportes intelectuales en el ámbito de la política ha sido el análisis de los medios de comunicación y los enfoques sesgados, o incluso engaños, que percibe detrás de su supuesta neutralidad. Se trata de un trabajo de contrainformación que ha inspirado a muchos otros autores y ha sido plasmado en obras como el ensayo 'Los guardianes de la libertad' —Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media—, escrito en 1988 en colaboración con el economista y profesor de la Universidad de Pennsylvania Edward S. Herman. En este vídeo se cuestiona si los miembros de una sociedad democrática bombardeada constantemente con técnicas de marketing pueden ser capaces de escoger libremente.Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher and activist. Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the MIT —Massachusetts Institute of Technology—, he is considered one of the leading figures in this field thanks to his work on linguistic theory and cognitive science, as the Chomsky Hierarchy. Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad de la Frontera de Chile and the Universidad Autónoma de México, The New York Times once defined him as 'one of the most important contemporary thinkers'. But perhaps the most popular aspect of Chomsky is his strongly committment to politics that began in the years of the Vietnam War and led him to join the union IWW / Industrial Workers of the World. His activism is characterized by a strong criticism of contemporary capitalism, the United States’ and Israel foreign policy and the manipulation of the population by the economic elites and governments. One of its main intellectual contributions in the field of politics has been the analysis of the media and biased approaches, or even cheating, that he perceives behind his supposed neutrality. This is a work of disinformation that has inspired many other authors and has been reflected in works like the essay 'Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media', written in 1988 in collaboration with the economist and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Edward S. Herman. This video questions whether members of a democratic society, bombed with marketing techniques, may be able to choose freely." ["post_title"]=> string(116) "¿Son compatibles democracia y marketing?Are democracy and marketing compatible?" 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