WellBeing, Choice and Sustainability. What should Economic Policy target in a new Era Economy
Amna Silim, April 2012
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The global financial crisis and what the Americans call the ‘gr eat recession’ have brought into question the principles that have guided economic policymaking in r ecent decades.
They have exposed the weaknesses in our curr ent economic model and generated
mainstream debate on how the economy is structur ed, what should it be designed to achieve, and how economic goals can be accomplished. This debate has highlighted a set of fundamental questions that demand a pr ofound reconsideration of the key ideas that underpin economic policymaking.
This reconsideration builds on the work of trailblazers who have for many years been making the argument for a reassessment of what economic policy should target. These include Richard Layard of the LSE, who argues for happiness to be prioritised above all else (see Layard 2006). Tim Jackson and his allies at the New Economic Foundation have called on policymakers to target zero growth to achieve the goal they see as fundamental:
to create economies that are environmentally sustainable in the long run (see Jackson 2009, NEF 2009). Others, such as Neal Lawson and the Labour group Compass (see Shah and McIvor 2006) advocate for equality to be placed front-and-centre in the UK’s economic model.
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