A System to Support Healthy Communities: Policy Ideas

Most of us do not want the world our society has become. It is too frenetic, too stressful, too superficial, too unequal, too acrimonious, too violent, and getting worse. Surveys show we want more time with family, friends and community1. More than 90% of us would prefer a greener, more stable society2, where the emphasis is on cooperation, community and family, more equal distribution of wealth, and greater economic self-sufficiency3.

Many studies now show that for a more fulfilling life, and to restore the planet to health, we need to restore connections with each other and with the natural world. Our emotional and physical wellbeing are best served by a small, supportive community and by regular connection with the living world around us. Caring for the natural world requires us, or some of us, to know each locality intimately4.

Local communities can only be stable and healthy if they have a viable local economy. Many studies show local businesses recycle a large fraction of wealth within the community, whereas businesses owned nationally or globally drain wealth to a distant few. For our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing we need to tilt the balance back from global to local5. We will still want many national and global activities, we do not need to be isolationist nor 100% locally self-sufficient. However we do need to be in control of the larger-scale activities, and they need to be supportive of strong and healthy local communities.

So we need to think about a different system. Below are some of the things we will need to change if we are to create a system that supports strong local communities, healthy living and a healthy planet.

These ideas may serve as a framework for a Progressive party or movement.

Read the whole essay.

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2 thoughts on “A System to Support Healthy Communities: Policy Ideas

  1. don owers

    Hi Geoff, Have you had any feed back from the Greens in relation to the cost of population growth? I try to engage them by pointing out many of the things they argue against , like land clearing, native animal extinctions, housing affordability – are a direct result of high population growth but get no replies . A book you may find interesting; Men without Work, Americas invisible crises. its the US experience and the author points out that over the last 50 years there has been a decline of 8% in the number of men aged between 25 and 54 in the work force. Equates to about 7 million and its happening in most countries but Japan comes of best .

    Cheers

    don

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    1. Geoff Davies Post author

      I haven’t tried to contact the Greens directly, nor have I had any reaction from them. I think others have tried. They don’t seem to be very aware or interested. I’ve seen many comparable statistics about employment in the US. Thanks.

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