Again and again, I find that I learn much from the work of Blair Gelbond. The powerful series of articles he has recently published on the horrific conditions of our prisons and his hopeful stance about the recognition of the Oneness of the universe and all human beings, through meditation, both conclude with the urgent need for us to realize how interconnected we are.
This conclusion spurs me to offer again a piece I prepared for the Rio+20 UN Conference a few years back. The piece is titled "A Declaration of Economic Interdependence."
Recalling my own Invitation to Economists, Physicists, and Ecologists - and Ego-nomists of a few days ago makes me realize that, for us all to succeed, we all ought to work Toward an Integration of Economic, Ecological, and Human Interdependence.
A Working Draft
Fully appreciative of the many blessings of the Declaration of Independence it might now be an appropriate time to draft A DECLARATION OF ECONOMIC INTERDEPENDENCE.
Whereas the Declaration of (Political) Independence has, without open discussion, been transformed into a Declaration of Personal Independence;
Whereas this ideology has given rise to the Age of Entitlements, an age dominated by the conception that there can ever be rights without responsibilities;
Whereas the lack of personal and civic responsibility has generated the conception of Life as One-Against-All
Whereas this emphasis on our own welfare - independent, if not at the expense, of the welfare of our fellow citizens has created economic insecurity for everyone, rich and poor alike,
We affirm that our greatest political need is to build a society in which the reality of Economic Interdependence is fully acknowledged.
In this society, we declare
the fundamental conception of Life is One-With-All
and we trust that the effect will be economic jubilation for all.
In order to build such a society
we are called upon to realize the political ideals of
Liberty, Justice, and Goodwill toward one and all.
In order to build such a society our challenge is to deny
all structures of individual and societal selfishness and
THE PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMIC JUSTICE
THE PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMIC JUSTICE are enunciated in A Bill of Economic Rights and Responsibilities (see below).
The best explanation of economic interdependence that this writer has found is an article by Leonard E. Read entitled "I, Pencil". It is available from The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc. (www.fee.org).
A longer explanation of economic interdependence is contained in Carmine Gorga, The Economic Process: An Instantaneous Non-Newtonian Picture. Lanham, MD, and Oxford: University Press of America, 2002 and 2010.A Bill of Economic Rights and Responsibilities
"We need an Economic Bill of Rights."
Martin Luther King, written in 1968 just before his assassination
"We'll never revitalize our market economy till ...
every single American is protected by
an economic bill of rights."
Jerry Brown, "We the People, Take Back America"
"Under a second Bill of Rights a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all - regardless of station, rank, or creed."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
State of the Union Message, Jan. 11, 1944
"At the United Nations, the Pope urged the rich to show solidarity with the poor. His social teaching has emphasized that this moral commitment should not be done by dole that creates dependency, but by empowering the poor to become full participants in economic life."
George Weigel, President, Ethics & Public Policy Center
We all have the right to receive economic justice;
we all have the responsibility to grant economic justice to others.
We all have the right to peace and to the economic benefits of law and order;
we all have the responsibility to pay for the instrumentalities of peace, law and order.
We all have the right of access to natural resources;
we all have the responsibility to pay taxes as compensation to the rest of the community for the exclusive use of those resources.
We all have the right of access to national credit;
we all have the responsibility to repay the loan issued on the basis of national credit.
All communities with taxing power have a right of access to national credit for the financing of public works programs;
communities have the responsibility to repay the loan issued on the basis of national credit.
We all have the right to own the fruits of our labor;
we all have the responsibility, if working with and for others, to offer services commensurate with the value of the reward received in the form of stocks -- eventually, no longer wages.
We all have the right to protect our wealth;
we all have the responsibility to respect other people's possessions.
We all have the right to healthy air, water, and food supplies;
we all have the responsibility to accept the higher prices that result from the provision of those qualities.
The poor have the right to society's surplus;
the poor have the responsibility to make good use of
The government has the right to raise taxes to administer money, peace, and justice;
the government has the responsibility to administer
money, peace, and justice efficiently.