a) make all education and health services free to all and of an equal standard;
b) reduce inequality by establishing a maximum wage applicable to all workers and gradually reduce it while increasing the minimum wage.; and
c) replace the GDP with a measure related to environmental and social well being, so that costs are accounted for as well as benefits.GOVERNANCE
The following will improve governance:
a) limit the influence of private corporations by for instance banning their donations to politicians and political parties;
b) improve the parliamentary process so that there is more opportunity to
debate the big issues in the context of the major alternatives (economic growth versus the SSE);
c) augment the political process so that individuals are given more opportunity to express their views on major issues through such measures as referenda and plebiscites. Those who are opposed to plebiscites are afraid of the voice of the people; and
d) give greater recognition for the important role of local government - they have considerable potential to help with the transition.
REHABILITATION AND RESOURCE DEPLETION
Depending upon how long it takes us to switch to a Steady State Economy there will be an enormous rehabilitation task ahead of us. Reducing the use of resources and pollution should obviously be the major target of taxation. A very large international effort will be required to help nations and communities achieve self sufficiency. Nationally each country will be well advised to create more jobs in environmental restoration through bodies such as the Conservation Corps or Green Corps.
The overwhelming obstacles that we face with regard to transitioning to a Steady State Economy are: a) that not enough people know about it, and b) that if they do they compare the end result with todays system and tend to believe it is either extreme, utopian, impossible, or all three. The principal parts of our strategy are: a) to explain and win support for it; and b) to make it clear that it can be achieved by a number of acceptable steps. The lessons from the cultural revolution of the late sixties and early seventies is that it failed because most of those involved saw nowhere to go - as a result it became nothing more than a 'protest movement'.
The national parks have the potential to inspire being are based on the complete opposite values of our current economic system, namely the long term common good. For this reason it is not surprising that that they are currently under major attack from most Australian corporate oriented governments. I believe they should be held up as a good example of what is possible.
So our approach is to relate each step to our principles and to the end destination. The environment movement has a critical role to play in this. It can help the achievement of a purposeful and systematic transition after it has accepted the Steady State Economy as a reasonable goal while at the same time continuing with its mitigation work.
Finally, I draw some hope from the fact that at least a few people are talking about the steady state economy alternative and others are prepared to listen. That is the first step of a very long journey. An alternative is to carry on with trying to limit the damage to the Earth in the way we are doing and try to pick up the pieces when the collapse occurs.