Economic value should reflect our social values. We must look to creating sustainable communities. Communities that are maintained by the people in them in partnership with truly local businesses. When profits are taken out of communities, the responsibility for damage done to the community must follow those profits.
In 2001, California surpassed France and is now the fifth largest economy in the world. Therefore, a change of focus at the state level can literally be an example to the World.
Our centralized monetary policy has evolved into a controlling and regressive force. It is not a system that serves the community as a medium of exchange and a store of value. We must restore the connection between real value and money and not allow manipulated "market forces" continue to enrich only a privileged few.
We must move in a direction where the gap between rich and poor actually narrows rather than increases. To accomplish this, we must foster the growth of programs and structures designed to keep money in the communities where it is made.
People who have real goods and services to provide have no outlet, except conventional commercial businesses. These people are not motivated to provide value to the communities they serve. Rather, they are encouraged through business regulations and tax law to create and grow corporate structures. These structures often remove value from the community and reduce people's responsibility to it.
To foster local economic diversity, economic justice and to stimulate individual productivity, the Green Party advocates refocusing the economy:
Encourage ecologically sound and employee-owned or profit sharing businesses of appropriate scale. Such businesses would primarily serve a regional market. This would keep money circulating within the community, rather than sending it to distant corporate headquarters. To further such enterprises, we advocate "incubator programs" and other forms of assistance, as well as "Buy Local, Buy Green" campaigns. Establishing workplace democracy must also be promoted.
Corporate profits cannot be transferred out of a geographical region to another part of that corporation in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy or other such financial problems. Rather, the corporation owes a dollar-for-dollar responsibility to that area for any money transferred out. In our recent past we have seen too many out-of-state parent corporations and corporate officers enrich themselves and leave a company bankrupt. Employees and pensioners must be first in line, not last.
Encourage neighborhood non-profit development corporations that work to establish community-based economics and affordable housing, rather than the usual redevelopment fixation on huge projects in the downtown areas of cities. While redevelopment schemes do, in fact, pump money into local economies, that money comes at the cost of empowering and enriching large development companies that have no local ties. So, in the long term, those companies siphon money from the community.
Support the creation of cooperative and collective businesses. One way to encourage this would be to free non-profit and locally-owned businesses from the overly complex tax and regulatory structures designed for profit-making corporations. This could be paid for by shifting the tax subsidies and loan guarantees that currently go into corporate welfare and channeling them back into the community. This would need to be done without dismantling the legitimate regulations that protect workers.
Encourage the development of informal economies within the law, including volunteerism and barter systems.
Encourage the American "intentional community" movement - residential communities composed of people who have come together for a common purpose and live with some degree of economic sharing.