Is it possible for society to develop in a socially just and sustainable manner? Can there be prosperity without growth? Many models and proposals exist for such a society. In times of crisis they have become more relevant than ever before.
Anger at the growing gulf between rich and poor in many societies is growing. The ease with which firms, banks and rich individuals can legally squirrel away money in tax havens has also touched a nerve. Since the "Offshore Leaks" revelations the shear size of the tax avoidance business has become clear.
The shady world of offshore firms has been tolerated for years, perhaps because many people profited from it. But where others profit, some governments are looking at empty coffers to pay for aging populations and education.
Estimates suggest EU countries lose about one trillion euros of income every year through tax avoidance. Europe can no longer afford to ignore the problem and EU finance ministers are planning measures to prevent it. Proposals include exchanging data and clamping down on money laundering.
Profit maximization and ever-growing manager salaries have accompanied the financial crisis. Do we need a new economic system? Do we need new moral standards? What can be done to reduce social inequality? How much are we prepared to pay for a more economically just world?
Tell us what you think: Ethical Economics - Time for a New Deal
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Thomas Fricke – is a German author who has just released a book on banking and finances. He was chief economist at the Financial Times Germany from 2002 to 2012 and has held the same position at the renowned German publishing house Gruner & Jahr since 2009. Since 2007 he's been running the internet portal Wirtschaftswunder. He has also worked for the leading German publications Wirtschaftswoche and Manager Magazine, as well as the French economic research institute OFCE. In 1998 he was awarded the German-French Journalism Prize.
Michael Levitin – based in the German capital he has been working as a cultural, political and travel correspondent for magazines and newspapers including Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, Daily Telegraph and others. He also is one of the founders of the Occupied Wall Street Journal. He studied history at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and received a Masters from Columbia Journalism School. After that, he started working as a journalist in Bolivia, Puerto Rico, Barcelona and Prague, as well as his native San Francisco and New York.
Harriet Torry – is a reporter covering German politics and economics for Dow Jones Newswires. She has written, videoed, tweeted and blogged about Germany for over six years from Berlin and Frankfurt. Originally from London, she has lived in the US, Spain and Argentina. Harriet Torry studied Modern Languages at Bristol University and has a Master's in International Relations from Cambridge University.