Pathways to a People’s Economy, a project of New Economy Coalition (NEC), is a movement to build a people’s economy. NEC understands the time for a new system, changing the rules, giving communities control is now. And, they see a pathway forward.
Through a four-part policy proposal, Pathways to a People’s Economy sets a vision for policies that will bring about change toward an economy that values people ahead of profit and sees the dignity in all life.
The Policy Areas are:
- Own our Workplaces
- Build our Neighbourhoods
- Finance our Futures
- Restore our Planet
In each policy area on NEC’s website, they clearly outline the pathway to economic systems change, including specific policy proposals and explanations as to why they propose such ideas. Each section includes cases studies that support their proposals of bringing this economy to life. We have briefly outlined those proposals here:
1. Own our Workplaces:
Vision: a world where there is no difference between “worker” and “owner”.
This proposal sees worker-owned cooperatives as a way to build community wealth and control. Some suggestions for policymakers are to:
- Invest in local financial support for worker cooperatives, including revolving loan funds, loan guarantees and grant programs for both worker cooperative businesses and the technical assistance providers to serve them.
- Give workers the right of first refusal to buy businesses that are put up for sale or threatened with closure.
Cooperatives are a solution that meets the needs of the business sector in communities, while also ensuring that wealth stays within the communities, to support the owners that reside in them. It also ensures that businesses do not close if issues arise with ownership. It shares accountability and ensures community prosperity.
2. Build Our Neighbourhoods
Vision: a world in which safe and quality homes are a human right—where our housing system and policies are rooted in community, participation, equity and anti-displacement.
Similar to cooperative business models, NEC advocates for housing cooperatives, land trusts and resident-owned communities. They suggest policymakers can reach these goals if they:
- Make 50% of publicly owned vacant land available to community-owned/ democratically controlled housing at nominal or below-market prices.
- Require building, rehabbing, or funding of community owned / democratically controlled housing in exchange for public subsidies and/or land use accommodations provided to for-profit developer.
- Prioritise and expand public subsidies available to enable deeper affordability and prioritise permanently affordable, community-controlled developments.
By providing a variety of ownership options in the housing sector, these solutions remove predatory landlords and give security to historically insecure communities by reducing gentrification and homelessness.
3. Finance Our Future
Vision: a world in which the financial systems puts people over profits.
This means tighter regulations on private banks and Wall Street, divesting from extractive and predatory industries and expanding public banking and community-owned capital. NEC suggests policymakers undertake the following strategies:
- Limit the size and power of banks
- Create and strengthen those banks, community capital vehicles and financial institutions that prioritise the communities they serve.
In rethinking how money flows in our economy, we have the opportunity to create a system that fuels a regenerative economy and invests in visionary institutions that meet the needs of communities and planet.
4. Restore our Planet
Vision: a world where regenerative economies ensure that both people and the planet are thriving.
In order to prevent complete climate collapse, we must restore air, water and soil quality, meet the needs of communities and protect the most vulnerable populations from the crisis that already exists. NEC suggests policymakers act quickly and embrace the following:
- Restore Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination
- Divest from climate destruction and reinvest in climate resiliency
- Build regenerative agriculture systems
It’s imperative that we move away from dependence on fossil fuels for jobs and energy, towards climate resilience and restoration.
These policy areas are just a preview of the expansive resource that NEC has developed.