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.