By Pamela Haines, Quaker social justice educator with a concern for economics and the environment
A new booklet prepared for use within the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) will also be of interest and use to anyone who is seeking to understand how the growth dilemma can be resolved to better serve people and the planet.
As Quakers, we recognize our interconnectedness with the living earth. Yet we see that humans are exceeding the earth’s carrying capacity and damaging its commonwealth of life.
We value equality. Yet we see economic inequality increasing dramatically.
We value integrity. Yet Gross Domestic Product is a false measure of prosperity.
We value simplicity. Yet our “growth economy” requires ever-increasing consumption, debt, and intrusion on the natural world to sustain itself.
We value community. Yet those without adequate employment, without food security, and confined to prisons grows, while God’s community of life is diminished.
We value peace. Yet the violence and devastation caused by our economic system’s exploitation of people and planet is alarming.
How can the economic system be changed to create more jobs for people who need them, to produce fewer things using fewer resources, and to do less damage to the Earth?
This sixth pamphlet in the Quaker Institution of the Future series (QIF #6) is in collaboration with the Growth Dilemma Project of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Quakers). Beyond the Growth Dilemma: Toward an Ecologically Integrated Economy builds a framework for the changes that are needed to shepherd us to an economy that offers prosperous and thriving lives for humans and other creatures within the limits of planet Earth. Our society’s basic goal must change from “more” to “enough.” Changes in the way we earn our livelihoods, goods are produced, money is created, and the commons are governed are all considered.
Read the full text of Beyond the Growth Dilemma on line at www.quakerinstitute.org/?page_id=5, or order a hard copy through Amazon.