The Essence of Economic Ethics
By: Gavin Sher, Simply Well Written
What is the Well-Being Economy?
The Well-Being Economy is the term for an international movement that is reinventing the economy by reassessing its underlying principles. It proceeds from the basic truth that the economy, and our economic activity, should serve peoples’ true happiness, our environment, and the well-being of all Life .
Intro to the 10 Principles:
I recently launched a writing business, Simply Well Written, with my partners Hanna Maria and Irmina Jablonska. Irmina is our marketing partner. When we were positioning ourselves for the market, she discovered that our business mission and the spirit of our business was a perfect fit for the Well-Being Economy movement. We decided to position ourselves accordingly.
We wrote these 10 principles as part of our efforts and, when we were done, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they distill my years of pondering economics and the ethics of business into a very simple, clear and easy to understand form. We hope it provides others with food for thought and, perhaps, some inspiration to move in a healthier direction.
THE 10 PRINCIPLES OF THE WELL-BEING ECONOMY:
1. All Life is Sacred. We exist in relationship with our living world, in which we are entwined and dependent upon. We are biological beings, part of her living ecosystems, in which every element and organism has a place and a purpose, which is sacred. ‘Sacred’ means ‘valuable in and of itself’, independent of all human needs, desires and purposes; invaluable.
2. That which is truly good and valuable for human beings is that which supports human life and improves the experience of being alive. Anything that harms the living world that sustains us, or degrades our experience of life, destroys real value.
3. The purpose of economic activity is to provide goods and value to human beings. If our economic activity makes our experience of life worse, then we defeat the whole purpose of what we are up to. Choose your work wisely and do your work in a way that is good for everyone and everything involved.
4. A successful economy must be gauged by how healthy the reality is that it produces for all involved. Our economy must be metrically aligned with the well-being of all humans and the thriving of our living world.
5. Healthy economic activity honors the virtue of giving and receiving value in equal measure. To take more than you give, from the earth or from others, is greedy. To give much more than you receive is to disrespect your own value. Perfection may not be possible, individually or in society, but it is virtuous to strive for a healthy equilibrium.
6. Do not confuse money, a mere representation of value, with what is actually valuable. Don’t sacrifice well-being for pieces of paper. Do the work you yearn to do. It will ensure the true fruits of your being grow in the world and that your life-time is well spent.
7. Do not exploit your employees, or cheat your employer. Our experience of life is greatly determined by what happens in our working life. It’s better if we can love and be loyal to the people we work with. We are in this together.
8. Do not misrepresent the true value of the work you do. Count all costs, including those born by the environment and society at large. Reality cannot be cheated. Someone or something will always have to pay the true cost for what we choose to do. Create quality. Buy quality.
9. Don’t be stingy with your money. The more money is able to flow through an economy the more empowered we are as individuals and the more our quality of life improves collectively. Don’t reduce the flow to a trickle. We trade our life-time and our energy. Pay people what they need, not just to survive but to thrive. They will be more healthy, relaxed, motivated, inventive, productive, loyal, happy and pleasurable to be around.
10. Do not hesitate. Now is the perfect time to ensure our precious Earth is a great place to be for all Life. Act now and ensure you do not miss this amazing opportunity to make things Right.