2010 Platform :: Economic Justice & Sustainability
Green economics is
ecological economics. Our economy should serve us and our planet. Our
should reflect and respect the diverse, delicate ecosystems of our
Our current economic system is gravely
is unjust and unsustainable because it is premised on endless economic
and destruction of nature. Our market economy, by externalizing the
environmental and social costs of greenhouse gas emissions, is creating
greatest market failure in history: climate change, and its devastating
effects. Our government's top economic goal - increasing Gross Domestic
- impels us to perpetually intensify our resource use and environmental
Green economic policy places value not
material wealth, but on the things which truly make life worth living –
our health, our relationships, our communities, our environment, and
peace and justice throughout our nation and the world. We aim to
quality of life with a minimum of consumption. We aspire to less
"stuff" but more happiness. We propose a shift away from materialism
to help people live more meaningful lives as we save the planet from
change and ever larger mountains of waste. We need to acquire the
distinguish between need and greed.
We must also end the colossal waste of
funds for armaments and war, to reduce our nation’s federal debt, and
fund our environmental and social needs.
Greens intend to provide a green job to
wants one. We support using the tax system to bring more equality to
nation. Rising income inequality makes us all poorer in myriad ways.
societies are happier, healthier, safer and greener.
strong local economies and regional trade. The best model of economic security is for a
community and region to be
largely self-sufficient in the production of its necessities. We
the corporate control of “free trade” – which, through the
machinations of the World Trade Organization places the enrichment of
multinational corporations above the level of national laws – but
“fair trade,” which protects communities, labor, consumers and the
environment. Local economic vibrancy and regional trade keep more money
community and the region, rather than going to distant corporate
This is the most sensible model for economic security.
Greens will change the legal design of
corporation so that it does not maximize profits at the expense of the
environment, human rights, public health, workers, or the communities
it operates. We believe the giant multinational corporation is the
world’s most potent force for environmental and social destruction.
Unlike other political parties in the
the Green Party views economics not as an end in itself but as a
community development through the building and strengthening of
that constitute the social fabric.
Greens are defenders of the commons --
trove of wealth owned by the people, the social and tangible assets we
from generations past. Most people living in this country yearn for a
vibrant and lively commons, such as a richer community life, more parks
protected wilderness, clean air and water, more silence, better access
information and knowledge, and a more nourishing culture. We must stop
business from undermining and stealing our common wealth, such as our
forests and minerals, the fruits of federal research, the public
To create an enduring society we must
system of production and commerce where every act is sustainable and
restorable. We believe that all business has a social contract
society and the environment--in effect a fiduciary responsibility--and
concepts of socially responsible business and shareholder democracy can
models for prospering, successful business.
- We call for an economic system that
is based on
a combination of private businesses, decentralized democratic
publicly owned enterprises, and alternative economic structures.
this system puts human and ecological needs alongside profits to
success, and maintains accountability to communities.
- Community-based economics constitutes
alternative to both corporate capitalism and state socialism. It values
diversity and decentralization.
Recognition of limits is central to this
The drive to accumulate power and wealth is a pernicious characteristic
civilization headed in a pathological direction. Greens advocate that
relations become more direct, more cooperative, and more egalitarian.
Humanizing economic relations is just
of our broader objective: to shift toward a different way of life
by sustainability, regionalization, more harmonious balance between the
ecosphere and the human-made technosphere,
revival of community life. Our perspective is antithetical to both Big
and Big Government.
- Greens support a major redesign of
endorse true-cost pricing. [See section E.1.];
True Cost Pricing
We support production methods that eliminates waste. In natural
everything is a meal for something else. Everything recycles, there is
waste. We need to mimic natural systems in the way we manufacture and
things. Consumables need to be designed to be thrown into a compost
eaten. Durable goods would be designed in closed-loop systems,
ultimately to be
disassembled and reassembled. Toxics would be safeguarded, minimally
secured, and would ideally have markers identifying them in perpetuity
- Sustaining our quality of life,
prosperity, environmental health, and long-term survival demands that
new ways of doing business. We need to remake commerce to encourage
and variety, responding to the enormous complexity of global and local
conditions. Big business is not about appropriateness and adaptability,
about power and market control. Greens support small business,
stakeholder capitalism, and broad and diverse forms of economic
argue that economic diversity is more responsive than big business to
of diverse human populations.
- Greens view the economy as a part of
ecosystem, not as an isolated subset in which nothing but resources
come in and
products and waste go out. There is a fundamental conflict between
growth and environmental protection. There is an absolute limit to
growth based on laws of thermodynamics and principles of ecology. Long
that limit is reached, an optimum size of the economy is reached which
maximizes human welfare in an holistic
- We support a Superfund for Workers
envisioned by the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union in 1991. Such
program would guarantee full income and benefits for all workers
ecological conversion until they find new jobs with comparable income
- The Green Party supports methods,
such as the
Index of Social Health Indicators, the Index of Sustainable Economic
and the Genuine Progress Indicator, that take into account statistics
housing, income, and nutrition.
B. Measuring Economic Progress – Economic Growth and the Steady-State Economy
Economic growth has been a primary goal of the American policy. Corporations, politicians beholden to corporations, and economists funded by corporations advocate a theory of unlimited economic growth stemming from technological progress. Based upon established principles of the physical and biological sciences, however, there is a limit to economic growth.
American economic growth is having negative effects on the long-term ecological and economic welfare of the United States and the world. There is a fundamental conflict between economic growth and ecological health (for example, biodiversity conservation, clean air and water, atmospheric stability).
We cannot rely on technological progress to solve ecological and long-term economic problems. Rather, we should endeavor to make lifestyle choices that reinforce a general equilibrium of humans with nature. This requires consciously choosing to foster environmentally sound technologies, whether they are newer or older technologies, rather than technologies conducive to conspicuous consumption and waste.
- Economic growth, as gauged by increasing Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is a dangerous and anachronistic American goal. The most viable and sustainable alternative is a steady-state economy. A steady-state economy has a stable or mildly fluctuating product of population and per capita consumption, and is generally indicated by stable or mildly fluctuating GDP. The steady-state economy has become a more appropriate goal than economic growth in the United States and other large, wealthy economies. A steady-state economy precludes ever-expanding production and consumption of goods and services. However, a steady-state economy does not preclude economic development - a qualitative process not gauged by GDP growth and other measures that overlook ecological effects.
- One way to measure the economy is to assess the value of non-monetary goods and services and measure the rate of infant mortality, life expectancy of people, educational opportunities offered by the state, family stability, environmental data, and health care for all people. Another measure is to quantify human benefit (in terms of education, health care, elder care, etc.) provided by each unit of output. Measuring the gap between the most fortunate and the least fortunate in our society, for example, tells us how well or poorly we are doing in creating an economy that does not benefit some at the expense of others.
- For many nations with widespread poverty, increasing per capita consumption (through economic growth or through more equitable distributions of wealth) remains an appropriate goal. Ultimately, however, the global ecosystem will not be able to support further economic growth. Therefore, an equitable distribution of wealth among nations is required to maintain a global steady-state economy. A global economy with inequitable wealth distribution will be subject to continual international strife and conflict. Such strife and conflict, in turn, ensures the economic unsustainability of some nations and threatens the economic sustainability of all.
C. Curbing Corporate Power
People before profits
Our Position: Greens want to reduce the economic and political power of large corporations, end corporate personhood and re-design corporations to serve our society, democracy and the environment.
Unelected and unaccountable corporate executives are not merely exercising power in our society -- they are ruling us. Greens will reduce corporate powers and privileges, including by stripping them of artificial "personhood" and constitutional protections. The Green Party supports strong and effectively enforced antitrust laws and regulation to counteract the concentration of economic and political power that imposes a severe toll on people, places and the planet.
Greens believe the legal structure of the corporation is obsolete. At present, corporations are designed solely to generate profit. This legal imperative -- profit above all else -- is damaging our country and our planet in countless ways. We must change the legal design of corporations so that they generate profits, but not at the expense of the environment, human rights, public health, workers, or the communities in which the corporation operates.
One point remains unequivocal: our planet cannot afford business as usual any longer. Because corporations have become the dominant economic institution of the planet, we must compel them to serve human and environmental needs, so that our peoples, nations and environment may live long and prosper.
- End corporate personhood.
- Federal chartering of corporations
includes comprehensive, strict and enforceable social responsibility
- Strengthen the civil justice system
that it holds corporations strictly liable for corporate crime, fraud,
and malfeasance. This would include revoking the charters of
routinely violate safety, health, environmental protection or other
- Empower shareholders to stop abuses
managers they hire through a structure of democratic governance and
- Enforce existing antitrust laws and
even tougher new ones to curtail the overwhelming economic and
of large corporations.
- Increase funding for and strengthen
of federal antitrust enforcement.
D. Livable Income
We affirm the importance of access to a livable income.
- We call for a universal basic income (sometimes called a guaranteed income, negative income tax, citizen's income, or citizen dividend). This would go to every adult regardless of health, employment, or marital status, in order to minimize government bureaucracy and intrusiveness into people's lives. The amount should be sufficient so that anyone who is unemployed can afford basic food and shelter. State or local governments should supplement that amount from local revenues where the cost of living is high.
- Job banks and other innovative training and employment programs which bring together the private and public sectors must become federal, state and local priorities. People who are unable to find decent work in the private sector should have options through publicly funded opportunities. Workforce development programs must aim at moving people out of poverty.
- The growing inequities in income and wealth between rich and poor; unprecedented discrepancies in salary and benefits between corporate top executives and line workers; loss of the "American dream" by the young and middle-class - each is a symptom of decisions made by policy-makers far removed from the concerns of ordinary workers trying to keep up.
- A clear living wage standard should serve as a foundation for trade between nations, and a "floor" of guaranteed wage protections and workers' rights should be negotiated in future trade agreements. The United States should take the lead on this front - and not allow destructive, predatory corporate practices under the guise of "free" international trade.
E. Fair Taxation
Our Position: Federal
taxes must be strongly progressive.
Our current tax system is outrageously
is riddled with loopholes, subsidies and dodges for corporations and
super-rich. Most working people pay too much in taxes compared to
multi-millionaires and billionaires. Many of our biggest and most
corporations pay little or no tax. Much investment income is taxed at
the rate workers pay.
We can afford to cut taxes for most
people if we
make corporations and the super-rich pay their fair share. Then we can
even more when we halt our nation's wasteful spending on wars, weaponry
We call for progressive taxation,
from individuals to corporations, taxing "bads"
income, taxing speculation on Wall Street, and cutting corporate tax
We will institute comprehensive tax
simplify the tax system. We will eliminate loopholes and other
favor corporate and wealthy interests over tax justice.
Small business, in particular, should
penalized by a tax system which benefits those who can "work" the
legislative tax committees for breaks and subsidies. We support
wide-ranging reform of the tax system that helps create jobs, economic
efficiencies and innovation within the small business community. We
"corporate welfare." Smaller businesses are the U. S. A's great strength. Greens believe government
should have a
tax policy which encourages small and socially responsible business.
Political democracy remains a distant
without economic democracy. A principal instrument for achieving
democracy is our tax system. Taxes are the means whereby we fund our
services. They can also help create equity, justice, health and
1. Cut taxes for wage-workers
- Exempt people earning less than
year and families earning less than $50,000 per year (adjusted for
from the federal and state income taxes.
- Exempt food, clothing, prescription
medications, other necessities and second-hand goods from sales taxes.
2. Fair taxes for corporations and the wealthy
- End corporate welfare, such as the
Wall Street, the big banks and the automobile industry; subsidies for
Export-Import Bank loan guarantees; tax abatements for big box stores;
loophole for “carried interest” from private equity and hedge fund
managers; tax deductibility for advertising and business entertainment;
offshore tax avoidance schemes; giveaways for new sports stadiums and
- Impose a financial transaction tax on
stocks, bonds, currency, derivatives, and other financial instruments.
- Block financial transactions with tax
to stop tax evasion.
- Decrease the $1 million home value
cap on the
mortgage interest tax deduction for federal income taxes, to reduce the
subsidy provided to those living in the most expensive homes.
- Restore the estate tax.
- Apply the Federal Insurance
(Social Security and Medicare) taxes to investment income and to all
income, not merely the first $106,800 earned.
- Oppose the privatization of Social
- Enact a wealth tax of 0.5% per year
individual's assets over $5 million.
3. Eco-taxes to help save the planet
- Establish a system of carbon taxes on
fossil fuels, to begin to reflect the real environmental cost of their
extraction and use. Carbon taxes should be applied as far upstream as
preferably when possession of the carbon-bearing fuel passes from
(for example, coal mine; oil wellhead or tanker; gas wellhead) to the
entity in the supply chain (for example, coal shipper or utility; oil
or importer; natural gas pipeline). Offset potential regressivity
for lower income individuals via the Green Tax shift that lowers income
and/or other approaches.
- Eliminate tax subsidies for the oil,
nuclear and timber and mining industries.
- Enact a Green Tax Shift that shifts
people and work (via income and payroll taxes) to taxing natural
extraction, use, waste and pollution.
- Enact a system of Community Ground
Value Taxation that distinguishes between the socially and privately
wealth of land, by increasing the taxes on the former to retain for
value that it collectively creates and lowers them on the latter to
individuals for their initiative and work.
- To ensure that prices reflect their
environmental cost, enact a system of True Cost Pricing (TCP)
for goods and services. TCP is an accounting and pricing system that
costs in the price of a product. TCP
charges extractive and productive industries for the immediate or
damage (pollution of air and water) and diminishment of natural
caused by their acts.
- Impose a carbon fee on goods imported
nations with lower carbon taxes than in the U.S., based upon the carbon spent in manufacturing
transporting them to the U.S.
4. Taxes for a better, healthier USA
- Simplify the tax code. Make it
understandable and resistant to the machinations of powerful corporate
- Eliminate tax incentives to send jobs
- Raise taxes on tobacco, alcohol, soda
other junk food.
F. Local Economic Involvement
Our Position: Greens
reforms that give communities more control over their own local
Greens support decentralization, and
call for a
community-based economics whose aim is local prosperity and
We support local production, local
manufacturing, local sales, local recycling
wherever and whenever possible.
We encourage face-to-face relationships with local business owners and
Successful local Green communities
everyone of all ages, generate good jobs and housing, and provide
services; creating cities and towns that educate everyone, encourage
recreation, and preserve natural and cultural resources; building local
governments that protect people from environmental hazards and crime;
motivating citizens to participate in making decisions.
- Protect local businesses from the
pricing practices of chain and "big box" stores.
- Support incentives for co-operative
enterprises, such as consumer co-ops, workers' co-operatives, credit
other institutions that help communities develop economic projects.
- Allow municipalities to approve or
large economic projects case-by-case based on environmental impacts,
ownership, community reinvestment, wage levels, and working conditions.
- Allow communities to set
consumer, human rights, labor, health and
standards higher than federal or state minimums.
- Invest in the commons: rebuild
improve mass transit; protect and restore the environment.
- Support local living wage laws.
- Establish local currencies such as
Dollars, Ithaca Hours and BerkShares, to
- Enact place of origin labeling.
- Enact corporate "good character"
laws, requiring corporations, when applying for a permit, to disclose
violations of law they have committed. Empower officials to deny
on such information.
G. Small Business and the Self-Employed
Greens support a
counter acts concentration and abuse of economic power. We
different initiatives for forming successful, small enterprises that
can become an engine of (and sustainable model for) job creation,
and progress. Small business is where the jobs are being
Over the past decade and a half, all new net job growth has come from
The Green economic model is
prosperity - Green means prosperity. Our goal is to go beyond the
good work being done by many companies (referred to as "socially
responsible business") and to present new ways of seeing how business
help create a sustainable world, while surviving in a competitive
We believe that
conservation should be
profitable, and employment should be creative, meaningful and fairly
Access to capital is often
need in growing a business. [See section I. Banking and Insurance
The present tax system acts to
business as it encourages waste, discourages conservation, and rewards
consumption. Big business has used insider access to dominate the
code. The tax system needs a major overhaul to favor the legitimate and
critical needs of the small business community. Retention of capital
retained earnings, efficiencies, and savings is central to small
competitiveness. Current tax policies often act to unfairly penalize
- Government should reduce unnecessary
restrictions, fees, and bureaucracy. In particular, the Paper
Act should be seen as a way to benefit small business, and it should be
improved in response to the needs of small businesses and the
- Health insurance premiums paid by the
self-employed should be fully deductible.
- State and local government should
businesses that benefit the community especially. Economic development
initiatives should include citizen and community input. The type and
businesses that are given incentives (tax, loans, bonds, etc.) should
result of local community participation.
- Pension funds (the result of workers'
investments) should be examined as additional sources of capital for
business. [See section J. Pension Reform]
- Insurance costs should be brought
down by means
of active engagement with the insurance industry. Insurance pools need
should be established by government to assist individuals who want to
careers or go into business for the first time.
- Home-based and neighborhood-based
should be assisted by forward-looking planning, not hurt by out-of-date
ordinances. Telecommuting and home offices should be aided, not
H. Work and Job Creation
There is plenty of work to do that does
jeopardize our future, does not widen the gap between the richest and
poorest in our society, and that can enrich
communities. We must encourage the creation of these
People whose livelihoods depend on supporting remote, multi-national
corporations cannot be expected to support changing the system.
The Green Party proposes a
alternative to a job or no job dichotomy: that is to provide everyone a
sustainable livelihood. The need of our times is for security, not
jobs. We need security in the knowledge that, while markets may
jobs may come and go, we are still able to lead a life rooted in
The concept of a "job" is
only a few hundred years old; and the artificial dichotomy between "employment" and "unemployment" has become a
tool of social leverage for corporate exploiters. This produces a
society in various ways: (1) It is used to
bringing harmful industries to rural communities, such as extensive
construction and clear cutting of pristine forests. (2) It has been
used to pit
workers (people needing jobs) against the interests of their own
(3) It has created a self-esteem crisis in a large segment of the adult
population who been forced into doing
is irrelevant, socially harmful, or environmentally unsound.
We will also promote
policies that have
job-increasing effects. Many people will still need jobs for their
need to counterbalance the decline in jobs caused either by new
corporate flight to cheaper labor markets outside our borders, or the
disappearance of socially wasteful jobs that will inevitably occur as
more people embrace a green culture.
To begin a transition to a system
sustainable livelihood, we support:
I. Banking and Insurance reform
Greens will overhaul
industries to end their culture of impunity and to prevent them from
fraud or malfeasance so severe as to drive our nation into a massive
Since finance, banking, and insurance
occupy a privileged position of power at the center of commerce, this
advantage brings with it special social responsibilities. We must
the institutions chartered for these roles take that responsibility
and serve the public interest.
Greens aim to reform the financial
eliminate usury (exorbitantly high interest rates on loans) and ensure
they meet their obligations to taxpayers and local communities.
1. Banking reform
- Break up our nation's largest banks
financial institutions so that none is "too big to fail." End
taxpayer-funded bailouts for banks, insurers and other financial
- Regulate all financial derivatives,
predatory or gambling use of derivatives, and require full transparency
derivative trades, to control risk of systemic financial collapse.
regulatory pre-approval of exotic financial instruments.
- Re-enact the Glass-Steagall
Act, which prohibited bank holding companies from owning other
companies and engaging in risky economic transactions.
- Oppose the federal government being
guarantor of speculative investments. During a financial crisis, if the
government and/or a central bank must provide relief, it should be
given in an
equal manner and at the most local level possible, so that benefits are
equitably dispersed and burdens are equitably borne. So rather than
trillions of dollars into the banking system, they should have provided
mortgage relief to homeowners suffering the most from the housing
negotiated with lenders to provide partial loan forgiveness.
- Ensure that low and middle income
access to banking services, affordable loans, and small-business
capital, especially through credit unions.
- Oppose disinvestment practices, in
lending and financial institutions move money deposited in local
of those same communities, damaging the best interests of their
- Support the extension of the
Reinvestment Act to provide public and timely information on the extent
housing loans, small business loans to minority-owned enterprises,
in community development projects, and affordable housing.
- Strengthen disclosure laws,
laws, and openness on the part of lenders regarding what criteria they
making lending decisions.
- Oppose arbitrary or discriminatory practices
individuals or small business access to credit.
- Support development of charter
development banks, which would be capitalized with public funds and
meet the credit needs of local communities.
- Support the expansion of co-operative
2. Monetary Reform (Greening the Dollar)
The crisis in our financial system makes
imperative that we restructure our monetary system. The present mis-structured system of privatized control has
the misdirection of our resources to speculation, toxic loans, and
financial instruments that create huge profits for the few but no real
or jobs. It is both possible and necessary for our government to take
special money creation privilege and spend this money into circulation
a carefully controlled policy of directing funds, through community
interest-free loans, to local and state government entities to be used
infrastructure, health, education, and the arts This would add millions
jobs, enrich our communities, and go a long ways toward ending the
To reverse the privatization of control
money issuing process of our nation‚s monetary system; to reverse its
resulting obscene and undeserved concentration of wealth and income; to
it within a more equitable public system of governmental checks and
and to end the regular recurrence of severe and disruptive banking
as the ongoing financial crisis which threatens the livelihood of
Green Party supports the following interconnected,
- Nationalize the Federal Reserve
reconstituting them and the Federal Reserve Systems Washington Board of
Governors under a new Monetary Authority Board within the U.S.
Treasury. The private creation of money or credit,
which substitutes for
money, will cease and with it the reckless and fraudulent practices
led to the present financial and economic crisis.
- The Monetary Authority, with
the FDIC, the SEC, the U.S. Treasury, the Congressional Budget
others will redefine bank lending rules and procedures to end the
banks now have to create money when they extend their credit, by ending
what‚s known as the fractional reserve system in an elegant, non
disruptive manner. Banks will be encouraged to continue as profit
companies, extending loans of real money at interest; acting as
between those clients seeking a return on their savings and those
and able to pay for borrowing the money; but banks will no longer be
of what we are using for money.
- The new money that must be regularly
an improving system as population and commerce grow will be created and
into circulation by the U. S. Government for infrastructure, including
„human infrastructure‰ of education and health care. This begins
with the $2.2 trillion the American Society of Civil Engineers warns us
needed to bring existing infrastructure to safe levels over the next 5
Per capita guidelines will assure a fair distribution of such
across the United States,
creating good jobs, re-invigorating the local economies and re-funding
government at all levels. As this money is paid out to various
they in turn pay their suppliers and laborers who in turn pay for their
expenses and ultimately this money gets deposited into banks, which are
a position to make loans of this money, according to the new
3. Insurance Reform
- Clean up the insurance industry.
special-interest protections, collusion, over-pricing and industry-wide
practices that too often injure the interests of the insured when they
vulnerable. Prohibit bad-faith insurance practices, such as avoidance
obligations and price fixing.
- Enact single-payer universal health
Until single-payer is established, we support laws that act to make
policies transportable from job to job.
- Support and encourage the insurance
efforts for "loss prevention," that is, to reduce the incidence of
death, injuries, disease and other calamities.
- Support initiatives in secondary
markets that expand credit for economic development in inner cities,
housing and home ownership among the poor, sustainable agriculture and
development maintaining family farms.
- Prohibit companies from being the
of insurance on their own employees.
4. Broader financial industry reforms
- Support a 10% cap on interest rates,
inflation, for credit cards, mortgages, payday loans and all other
- Aggressively crack down on crime,
malfeasance and tax evasion in the financial and insurance industries.
- Reduce excessive executive pay.
- Support the formation of Citizens'
Boards to defend the interests of consumers and policyholders.
- Favor a tax on stock, bond, foreign
currency and derivatives transactions to discourage excessive
J. Pension Reform
Working people--who own
trillion in pension monies (deferred wages in effect)--should have
options in where their money is invested apart from the current
exerted by a handful of managers, banks, insurance companies, and
funds. Pension funds should not be used for corporate mergers,
acquisitions and leveraged buyouts, corporate decisions that undercut
rights, employment, and retirement while generously rewarding
speculation. The current system has allowed vast amounts of
workers' hard-earned money to be squandered on job-ending,
Pension funds are gigantic capital pools
with government support, be used to meet community needs and benefit
and their families directly.
- Corporate-sponsored pension funds
category of funds) should be jointly controlled by management and
exclusively by management.
- Federal law must be changed so that
funds need simply to seek a reasonable rate of return, not the
market rate which greatly restricts where investments can be made.
- A secondary pension market
established by the
government to insure pension investments made in socially beneficial
must be considered as one method that could greatly expand the impact
capital market, as demonstrated in the case of federally insured /
- Prudent pension fund investing should
money and do good work. Creating jobs and supporting employment
public / private partnerships can become a priority as we seek to
towards opportunities where new jobs are created - small business, not
transnational business. We could target the under- and un-employed. We
there are myriad opportunities for a profound shift in how the capital
of America's workers is best put to use.
K. Anti-trust Enforcement
The Green Party supports strong and
enforcement anti-trust regulation to counteract the concentration of
power that imposes a sever toll on the economy. The anti-trust
of the Justice Department has had its scope and powers reduced.
explosion of unregulated mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, and
buyouts has overwhelmed the federal government's capacity to provide
oversight. Financial and trading markets have become particularly
vulnerable to insider trading. Securities and Exchange Commission
of these markets has seriously fallen short. Overall, what we see
unchecked market power is self-serving abuse of the democratic
process, price gouging, loss of productivity and jobs, reduced
and of predatory and monopolistic practices.
- The Federal Trade Commission must
oversee mergers where the combined sales of the companies exceed $1
- The Justice Department must redefine
"relevant market share" in assessing mergers.
- The Congress must enact its calls for
competitiveness by stopping illegal monopolistic practices.
- We oppose the largesse of government
form of massive corporate entitlements.
L. Advanced technology and Defense Conversion
1. The Green Party supports defense technology transfer towards a peacetime technology-based economy, particularly new industrial applications and developments in the areas of advanced communications, alternative energy, non-toxic battery technology and waste management.
- Consolidation of the nuclear weapons complex should move toward alternative civilian technologies and non-proliferation work, not toward a new generation of nuclear weapon design and production.
- We recognize the need for de-escalating the continuing arms race, and we strongly oppose putting nuclear weapons, lasers and other weapons in space in a new militarization policy that is in clear violation of international law. [See section F. Demilitarization and Exploration of Space in chapter I]
- Let us go forward with government and civilian space programs; research initiatives in sustainability science, environmental protection, ecological economics and transportation, appropriate technologies and technology transfer; environmental sampling and monitoring; systems testing; laser communications; and high speed computers.
- Let us devote a larger percentage of our nation's research and development budget, both private and public, toward civilian use and away from military use. Let us address our chronic trade imbalance in this fashion - not by increasing exports of military weapons and technologies.
- The Green Party opposes patenting or copyrighting lifeforms, algorithms, DNA, colors or commonly-used words and phrases. We support broad interpretation and ultimate expansion of the Fair Use of copyrighted works. We support open source and copyleft models in order to promote the public interest and the spirit of copyright.
- We call for a federal Technology Assessment Office to examine how technology fits with life on Earth, with our neighborhoods, and with the quality of our daily lives.
Advanced telecommunications technologies (many of which came originally from defense applications), such as fiber optics, broadband infrastructure, the Internet, and the World Wide Web hold great promise for education, decentralized economies, and local control of decision-making. We believe we must move toward decentralization in these efforts, carefully protecting our individual rights as we go forward.
- Advanced and high definition TV, digital communications, and wireless communications hold promise and challenge. For example, the public airwaves that will accommodate the new generation of telecommunications technology should not be free giveaways to media giants. An auction and built-in requirements that attach licenses to act in the public interest is needed. Technology provides tools: we must use these tools appropriately and ethically.
- Broadband Internet access should be open to bidding, not simply the current choice between cable or telephone company monopolies, where grassroots Internet service providers must merge or go out of business. Broadband access should be a taxpayer-funded utility, like water and sewer, ending the "digital divide" that keeps low-income folks from access to the Internet.
3. Open-Source Software
Open-source software is necessary to achieve personal, cultural, and organizational security in the face of technological threats brought by corporations and individual criminals.
- Government has a vital role in breaking up software monopolies, not so much by filing antitrust suits, but by buying nothing but open systems. The U.S. Government and the larger states are buyers large enough to influence the computer and software systems through their purchasing. It should be illegal for a government agency to create and store information vital to its operations in a format it doesn't control. Governments should always consider storing information with open-source software and in-house staff instead of only commercial systems, vendors and software. One way to achieve this would be to add a virtual bid for in-house open source deployment whenever a software purchase goes out for bid.
- The Green Party supports protection of software (free or proprietary) by means of the copyright. We strongly oppose granting of software patents. Mathematical algorithms are discovered, not invented, by humans; therefore, they are not patentable. The overwhelming majority of software patents cover algorithms and should never have been awarded, or they cover message formats of some kind, which are essentially arbitrary. Format patents only exist to restrain competition, and the harm falls disproportionately on programmers who work independently or for the smallest employers.
Nanotechnology - the science of manipulating matter at the molecular level - is poised to provide a new industrial revolution with vast social and environmental consequences. Like nuclear science and biotechnology, nanotechnology is being pursued largely outside of public debate, risking great harm and abuse in its use and application.
The Green Party calls for a halt to nanotechnology development until the following conditions are met:
- Development of full and open public debate about the implications of nanotechnology and the fusion of nanotech with biological materials and information sciences.
- Development of democratic public control mechanisms which would regulate the direction of nanotechnology research and development.
- Expanded research into the environmental and health consequences of exposure to nano-scale materials.
- Development of technology to contain and monitor nano-scale materials, and.
- Development of precautionary safety measures for the containment and control over nano-scale materials.
M. National Debt
Greens will reduce our national debt.
Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have irresponsibly expanded our national debt by trillions of dollars to finance tax cuts for savings of our workers are wealthiest citizens, war, corporate welfare and bailouts of Wall Street and the automotive industry. This debt and the interest that must be paid on it is not sustainable.
Working people and the small business community are bearing a disproportionate amount of the federal debt burden. Yet the federal debt is, to a large degree, the end product of tax cuts for the wealthy and big business, and the military-defense industry buildup.
For many years the federal government borrowed trillions of dollars. Money that should have been going into a better "safety net" for the poor, homes for the homeless, environmental and public lands conservation, sustainable jobs, research and development, roads and bridges, schools and the technologies of tomorrow, has been lost to servicing the national debt. We cannot ignore the consequences of our nation's past deficits and the related costs of debt service.
- Reduce our national debt by
increasing taxes on
large corporations, the super-rich and pollution; and decreasing
in some areas, especially for war, armaments and corporate welfare.
- Oppose privatization of Social
- Increase funding for green jobs,
Security, public housing, higher education, public transportation,
environmental protection, renewable energy and energy conservation.