What is Economic Reform Australia?
ERA is a not-for-profit, non-political organisation, whose goal is to educate and advise decision makers and the community about the economic foundations of a society characterized by social justice and ecological sustainability. ERA’s overarching goals since its inception in 1993 have always incorporated reform of the financial system.
ERA is proactive in analyzing and highlighting the dysfunctional aspects of our economy, and cooperates with others in proposing and publicizing suitable reforms. ERA also seeks to educate the public and others in ways of thinking that go beyond conventional economic concepts, by sponsoring suitable events and talks by those with expertise.
What are our objectives?
A just and sustainable society
The prevailing economic system has not been allowed to operate for the common good or the benefit of Australia, but rather, in large measure to enhance the wealth of powerful vested interests, resulting in unsustainable social inequality.
Government policies should operate to ensure that the welfare and interests of the majority are given priority over the welfare and interests of the minority.
Moreover, two prevailing economic paradigms need to be challenged, and overturned in favour of new approaches which will ensure economic and ecological sustainability: (a) the assumption that continuing GDP growth without constraint is possible, and likewise (b) the assumption that continuing population growth is desirable.
Financial, banking, and taxation reform
Full public scrutiny and accountability is required, and the economic system must serve public purpose.
Governments should honour their promises made in election campaigns, and if necessary implement deficit spending, consistent with the need to keep inflation from moving above the central bank’s target band. Glass-Steagall type legislation, ensuring that commercial banking and investment banking are delinked, should be implemented.
Banks “too big to be allowed to fail” should be broken up. Banks’ capital adequacy requirements should be tightened to limit their leverage and constrain their ability to create risky financial assets. Public banks should be formed at federal and state levels.
The formation of small banks and cooperative financial institutions should be encouraged. Interest rates should be fair. Taxation should be progressive
Commitment to democratic decision making
All citizens should be educated to an understanding of their responsibilities in regard to voting for their elected representatives.
The implementation of citizens’ initiated referenda also should be considered as an option for furthering the democratic process. Electoral reform is also required, in order to ensure that the composition of our federal and state legislatures accurately reflect the inclinations, beliefs, wishes and needs of the voting population.
Change for the common good
Reform should mean change for the better, improving health and welfare and social and financial security for every citizen while preserving the environment and not benefiting a privileged elite at the expense of others.