Let’s play fantasy economics. Things could really get better. | The Guardian

Andrew Simms

A family-oriented nation of fairness, social justice and mutual ownership? It exists – just not all in one place

Do you grudgingly accept there is no fundamental alternative to how things are, hard times and difficult choices? Then come to Goodland. You might want to live here.

Its president refuses the state mansion. He gives away 90% of his pay, living on the national average wage to share in the struggles of his people. Goodland has a new constitution, written by citizens. When its financial sector fell apart, speculators had to take their losses and the guilty were taken to court, not given a public bailout.

The country has a dynamic, largely mutually owned, local banking system. It avoids bad risk and bends over backwards to help small businesses. In Goodland, human wellbeing is more important than economic growth. There is a national plan for good living, free health and education services, subsidised childcare allowing for a more equal workplace, and support for the elderly. It has a law enshrining protection of its life-supporting ecosystems that stands above all other laws.

Goodland’s cities are green and grow healthy, organic food for the inhabitants. A phase-out of most fossil fuels is planned by 2017, and its business sector has large, intelligently connected and productive cooperatives. A shorter working week is available by choice.

Utter fantasy? No. Goodland exists. It is just a little, well, spread out. Each aspect can be enjoyed in the real world, just not all in the same place. It’s like fantasy football, where you build your perfect team from all known players, but better. Fantasy economics is not limited by the supply of players, but rather grows from emulating best practices wherever you find them.

Read the article from The Guardian.

 

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