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Working for a Just Economic Community

1997 General Resolution

BECAUSE Unitarian Universalists covenant to affirm and promote justice, equity,

and compassion in human relations; and

WHEREAS current global economic, social, and political developments have

brought about greater concentration of wealth and economic power in the hands of

major corporations and wealthy individuals while resulting in a lower standard

of living and growing lack of opportunity for many people;

WHEREAS in the United States there is increasing disparity between the

wealthiest ten percent and the remainder of the population;

WHEREAS democracy is at risk as wealthy individuals and corporations continue

to dominate the United States political process;

WHEREAS many corporations benefit from preferential treatment in the form of

grants, subsidies, and tax deductions, frequently referred to as "corporate

welfare," while increasingly neglecting their moral obligation to the welfare of

their employees, communities, and the global ecosystem;

WHEREAS government funding for social programs is declining while spending

for penal institutions is escalating;

WHEREAS access to legal recourse has been reduced and restricted at the same

time that public assistance is being administered through state block grants

with the likelihood that such funds will be reduced or diverted to other uses;

WHEREAS we now see massive numbers of people who are homeless, children who

are impoverished, people working for below poverty-level pay, environmental

degradation, lack of adequate health care, and erosion of workers' rights; and

WHEREAS the poor, immigrants, racial minorities, unemployed, and aged are

unjustly blamed for the perceived decline in the quality of life of upper and

middle income groups;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Unitarian Universalist Association urges

its member congregations and individual Unitarian Universalists in the United

States to work in cooperation with Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic

Community, other public-spirited organizations, and individuals in support of a

more just economic community, and toward that objective to implement practices

in our own congregations which are congruent with the intent of this resolution,

and to work specifically in favor of mechanisms such as:

  1. A true single minimum wage, applicable to all workers, that provides an

    adequate standard of living;

  2. A full employment policy, utilizing public works, if necessary, to

    supplement employment levels achieved by private enterprise;

  3. Government restrictions and consumer boycotts, where appropriate, on the

    import of goods produced under substandard conditions, forced labor, child

    labor, very low wages, or conditions that contribute to environment degradation;

  4. A more equitable federal tax system, including more progressive income tax

    rates, with fewer preferential provisions for high income corporations and

    individuals, greater earned income credits for low wage earners, and fair

    exemptions for middle income taxpayers;

  5. More effective limits on the concentration of ownership of major businesses,

    particularly in the fields of banking, insurance, utilities, communications,

    pharmaceuticals, and health organizations, accompanied by effective price

    controls where no substantial competition exists;

  6. A universal health plan, covering the basic needs of all individuals, with

    adequate freedom of choice, and with a "single payer" system to reduce

    administrative costs and inequities in treatment;

  7. Reform of labor legislation and employment standards to provide greater

    protection for workers, including the right to organize and bargain

    collectively, protection from unsafe working conditions, and protection from

    unjust dismissal;

  8. Reform of labor legislation and employment standards to provide greater

    protection for workers, including "workfare" recipients and prison inmates;

  9. Periodic review, renewal, or, if necessary, revocation of corporate

    charters, depending on assessment of performance consistent with the public

    interest;

  10. Fair access to fully funded legal aid for the poor; and
  11. Equitable funding of public education, without regard to local economic

    conditions.

For more information contact socialjustice@uua.org.