Relational economics

ET staff writer
ET staff writer
01 May, 2010 1 min read

Relational economics

Society and family values can only get back on their feet with the creation of a ‘relational economy’ in the UK, according to Christian social reform organisation the Jubilee Centre.

Dr Michael Schluter CBE, formerly an economist at the International Monetary Fund, said that Western societies risk economic decline and political instability, because capitalism has too many moral flaws, which have ‘severe social consequences’.

In his research paper, called Beyond Capitalism: towards a relational economy, published by the Jubilee Centre, Dr Schluter recommends founding organisations such as family associations, regional investment trusts, trilateral partnerships and a relational ratings agency.

This would build on some of the friendly societies and mutual insurance companies set up in the Victorian era, while companies would work along lines similar to the early years of the Cadbury family, which had a ‘strong relational ethos’.

Dr Schluter said: ‘Society seems to have lost control over the economic forces which have generated prosperity. Organisations set up in the nineteenth century helped to increase welfare, reduce class antagonisms, build social capital and increase economic productivity. To meet the social challenges of the twenty-first century, we urgently need a radical new economic vision’.

By entrusting welfare to local communities and helping investors and shareholders to see where their money is going and how to manage their savings and debts, this would ‘reform economic life’ and strengthen bonds among communities.

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