I have spent more time over the past eighteen months than I should have had to spend just to try to ascertain exactly what Green Economics is all about and why the Green Party has seemed so un-articulate when challenged with economic problems that demand immediate solutions. As I have been going through the economics sections of some of the various incarnations of a Green Party platform, I think I finally figured out why I was having such a problem.
The Platform of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS) arrives at its economic policies from a very different starting point than that used by the Green Party of California (GPCA) and that difference makes it difficult to articulate a coherent set of policies.
The GPUS platform is clearly founded on ecological understanding.
No economic system is sustainable unless it accommodates the ecosystems on which it depends. Our current system - based on the notion of perpetual economic expansion on a finite planet - is seriously flawed.
The GPCA Platform presents a solution, that of community based economics, but there is no underlying set of principles from which the need for community based economics is developed. Even considered as the solution to a problem, the problem is not mentioned. Rather, the GPCA states that "Economic value should reflect our social values." This is not the basis for a theory of economics but rather a standard by which to judge the policies that result.
I am reminded of a statement from Buckminster Fuller.
When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.Ecology provides us with the tools to properly structure an economy, our social values determines whether we got it right or not.
It looks like the task is really to synthesize these divergent views. If anyone has some ideas about how to do it, I would love to hear them.