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It's the Economy

As we see it, the fact that our ministry here at PEPartnership, Inc. is needed at all is a reflection of the gaps and breaks in the economic and social structures we've built: too many people are left out or ignored, too much emphasis is placed on the bottom line and not enough on the people affected by the bottom line. 

While we have a long way to go on this problem, there's encouraging work being done at a number of places -- work that looks at factors beyond just Gross National Product, Wall Street, and corporate profit rates to determine economic health and well-being.

To facilitate locating these resources in libraries or bookstores, we've included, wherever possible, ISBN and ISSN information, call numbers (OCLC, not Dewey Decimal), and/or website locations as appropriate. This list is updated periodically but not regularly.

Economics Policy Institute, Washington DC

The Economics Policy Institute, a nonprofit Washington D.C. think tank, was created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers.EPI's staff includes eight Ph.D.-level researchers, a half dozen policy analysts and research assistants, and a full communications and outreach staff. EPI also works closely with a national network of prominent scholars. The institute conducts original research according to strict standards of objectivity, and couples its findings with outreach and popular education. Its work spans a wide range of economic issues, such as trends in wages, incomes, and prices; health care; education; retirement security; state-level economic development strategies; trade and global finance; comparative international economic performance; the health of manufacturing and other key sectors; global competitiveness and energy development. Its research is varied, but a common thread runs through it: EPI examines issues through a "living standards" lens by analyzing the impact of policies and initiatives on the American public.

Jubilee Centre, Cambridge, England

The Jubilee Centre is a Christian social reform organisation that offers a biblical perspective on issues and trends of relevance to the general public. There is and ought to be a constructive relationship between social reform and the advance of the gospel. The fruitfulness of this relationship was understood by nineteenth-century reformers like Wilberforce but too often neglected by the church in the twenty-first century. 'Love of neighbour' requires us to take an interest in reforming the structures of society, not just in alleviating symptoms. While the Centre's interests run much broader than simply the economy, they have produced several excellent reports focusing on the concept of the Biblical Jubilee as it relates to today's economic structures.

  • Beyond Capitalism.  (Michael Schluter, March 2010.) Western societies face economic decline and political instability due in significant part to the five moral flaws of Capitalism and their severe social consequences. A radical new economic vision is urgently needed. This paper proposes a way forward through five strategies: embed relational values, strengthen household balance sheets, empower extended families, engage capital providers and entrust welfare to local communities. These changes are mutually reinforcing because they all reform economic life so as to strengthen personal bonds in the local and wider communities. They point towards the Christian vision of a ‘Relational economy’.

Let Justice Roll (USA)

With over 100 member organizations, the nonpartisan Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign is the leading faith, community, labor, business coalition committed to raising the minimum wage to a living wage at the state and federal level.

Let Justice Roll educates the public about the link between poverty and wages, and informs people of the severity of conditions facing low-wage working people and what must be done to bring about constructive change. Since 2005, Let Justice Roll has played a lead role in raising the minimum wage in 18 states and breaking the decade-long stalemate in raising the federal minimum wage above $5.15. Let Justice Roll is leading new campaigns to raise the minimum wage and enact living wage at the local, state and federal level. The minimum wage is where society draws the line: This low and no lower. Our bottom line is this:

Relationships Foundation, Cambridge, England

The Relationships Foundation, established in 1993, is a Cambridge-based independent think tank seeking a better connected society. The foundation studies the effect that culture, business, and government have on relationships. Working with a wide range of leaders in politics, business, the academic world and public services, they create new ideas for strengthening social connections, campaign on issues where relationships are being undermined, and train and equip people to think relationally for themselves. 

Let Justice Roll educates the public about the link between poverty and wages, and informs people of the severity of conditions facing low-wage working people and what must be done to bring about constructive change. Our bottom line is this: 

A job should keep you out of poverty, not keep you in it.

  • A Just Minimum Wage: Good for Workers, Business, and Our Future "makes a powerful economic and ethical case for raising the minimum wage and moving the United States from a low-road economy to the high road. Counters all the arguments against raising the minimum and offers vital insight into why the minimum wage is so important.

New Economics Foundation, London, England

The New Economics Foundation was founded in 1986 by the leaders of The Other Economic Summit (TOES) which forced issues such as international debt onto the agenda of the G7 and G8 summits. The NEF combines rigorous analysis and policy debate with practical, grass-roots solutions, often designed and run with the help of local people. NEF works with all sections of society in the United Kingdom and internationally to create more understanding and strategies for change. 

  • A Bit Rich. Eilis Lawlor, Helen Kersley and Susan Steed, copyright 2009. 
    "In this report nef calculates the value to society of a number of different jobs and advocates a fundamental rethink of how the value of work is recognised and rewarded." 
    And from the Executive Summary, "Pay matters. How much you earn can determine your lifestyle, where you can afford to live, and your aspirations and status. But to what extent does what we get paid confer ‘worth’? Beyond a narrow notion of productivity, what impact does our work have on the rest of society, and do the financial rewards we receive correspond to this? Do those that get more contribute more to society? With controversial bonuses being paid out this Christmas in bailed-out banks, we believe that it is time to ask challenging questions such as these."
  • The Living Economy. Paul Ekins, copyright 1986. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-03937-1. OCLC HB 171 .L76 1986. 
    The Living Economy is the first expression of a coherent, consistent economic framework which incorporates the collective wisdom of those who, like E.F. Schmacher, have perceived modern industrial development to be humanly unsatisfying and environmentally unsustainable.  The book is based on the first two years' work of The Other Economic Summit (TOES) and draws on the insights and experience of over forty expert contributors, the pioneers of this new kind of economic thinking, including Herman Daly, Johan Galtung, Susan George, Hazel Henderson and James Robertson.  The papers have been edited into a flowing, clearly organized narrative, from which the New Economics emerges as a substantial body of positive and viable economic theory, policy and practice for wealth and well-being now and in the future.  
  • A Relationships State of the Nation
    This report begins with a rebuttal to the comment we've heard over and over the past several elections: 'It's not just the economy, stupid!' It looks at how goals might be changed to focus on relationships -- family connectedness, social connectedness -- as integral to real national wealth; new approaches to achieve those goals; and new indicators and measures to assess progress toward those goals.
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