To ensure fair, accessible and transparent financial systems and markets we need to focus on value for money and accessibility. Instead of focusing on the cheapest price, we need to highlight the advantages of buying and producing sustainable goods and services that offer longer-term value for money.
We also need to focus on healthy profit. Excessive profit-taking by organizations and privileged individuals has resulted in rising gaps between rich and poor, social unrest and conflict. We must strengthen our institutions responsible for creating level playing fields for individuals and organizations.
The research carried out by the Thriveability Foundation (see the book "A Leaders Guide to Thriveability"), also shows that we need to focus on True Future Value, which is a function of true cost (including all externalities), true pricing and true taxation. For example, a Big Mac costs $5, but its true cost including the cost of the water used to produce the beef and the damage caused by the greenhouse gas methane produced by cows is more like $25.
Global investors now recognize that balanced growth and investment yield superior, more stable returns over longer periods, supported by appropriate financing mechanisms and resources. If and when governments can be encouraged to shift taxation away from human value-added (income tax) to taxing harms (carbon, excess water usage, pollution, corruption and much more), we will have an incentive structure that rewards human genius and hard work, not rent-seeking parasitic politicians and unethical businesses.
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