The Common Wealth – Stewardship

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Download The Common Wealth (word) (pdf)

Other values: Preamble, Community Engagement, Equity, Fairness, Freedom, An Ethical Culture

Stewardship


We are responsible for sustaining and developing our common wealth, national and global. Our common wealth is our collective stock of capital. This comprises not only public and private physical capital, but also human capital (education in particular), family capital (the wealth embodied in family and friendship bonds), environmental capital, social capital (the trust that holds society together), cultural capital and institutional capital (government and non-government institutions).

We, who have benefited from inherited capital, are responsible for passing on an improved capital stock to the next generation.

Examples

Pricing and taxation policies to encourage efficient long-term preservation of capital. Particularly relevant for energy and water resources, and for contributions to global warming.

The public sector to provide public goods where private provision not possible or more expensive.

Governments to take share of responsibility for sustaining and building social and institutional capital – to avoid spreading mistrust and undermining confidence in institutions.

Resources devoted to education, environmental protection, institutional development to be seen as investment rather than consumption.

Governments to produce a regular national balance sheet, accounting for all forms of capital, in terms that represent household and community value rather than financial cost.

Public policy generally directed to sustaining and growing the nation's wealth in all its dimensions – material, cultural, social.

Alternative values

Over 250 years of strong global growth and depletion of particular resources, we have always found new or alternative resources to overcome supposed limitations.

All needed physical infrastructure can be funded and provided by private markets; run down infrastructure will be replaced by the private sector once they see the opportunities.Attempts to account for non-tangible forms of capital involve high cost with little benefit; at worst they can result in progress being stymied by the conservative force of institutions which are no longer functional.


We sustain and nourish the wealth-creating potential in households and communities – individuals, families, local communities.

Examples

Employment policies to ensure people have choice about working hours, and to ensure employers are unable to shift to employees the costs of overwork.

Alternative values

Households are inefficient productive units – it's better to have people in the paid labour force where benefits of specialization can be realized.


Download The Common Wealth (word) (pdf)

Other values: Preamble, Community Engagement, Equity, Fairness, Freedom, An Ethical Culture


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