Action - Money
How we spend our money has a major impact on the world - essentially we are casting a vote every time we buy something. And companies tend to be very sensitive to bad publicity, so we actually have quite a lot more power than we might think.
But how we invest our money - who we entrust it to, and what they do with it on our behalf - can potentially have an even bigger impact, because the amounts of money can be quite large.
Banks, Pensions and Investments
Many people bank with whoever their parents suggested they bank with, and have never thought about changing. But some banks happily invest your money in things you might not approve of - such as oil and gas companies like Shell and BP, arms companies, or the tobacco industry. Other banks, such as Triodos Bank, make a point of investing in projects that benefit society - whilst still providing the normal things you expect of a bank.
The same goes for ISAs, investments and pensions...and pension pots are often really large, with Trillions of pounds invested globally. A cancer doctor from Australia realised one day that her pension was invested in tobacco and that she'd likely killed more people through her pension than she'd saved as a doctor. She moved her money.
Make My Money Matter, set up by Richard Curtis, has taken up the cause in the UK and you can join in by pressuring your pension fund - or moving to one that does not undermine the very future we're meant to be saving for.
Growth vs Circularity
For many years economics has been prioritising growth over pretty much everything else...and yet, on a finite planet, infinite growth is surely impossible. We need to think differently about how we do things and what we value - the systems as they stand concentrate wealth and power, and undermine the foundations of our democracies. Surely the time has come for ideas such as those laid out in Kate Raworth's Donut Economics - before the current system destroys itself, taking us with it.
Should the rich pay their fair share? I think most people would agree that they should, but if you have enough money and not many scruples, it's possible - as an individual, or a corporation - to pay tax at much lower rates than the ordinary person.
Groups such as Patriotic Millionaires have taken up the cause among wealthy individuals, but the fossil fuel industry receives huge tax breaks for investing in oil and gas projects, while making huge profits, and yet it is the whole of society that is picking up the bill for the destruction wrought by the burning of fossil fuels.
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