Economic Justice for a New Millennium (80431-GM-R206)
Revise Resolution 206, Economic Justice for a New Millennium, as follows:
Amend first paragraph:
I. Wesleyan Tradition and the United Methodist Church Witness for Economic Justice
The United Methodist Church and its predecessor bodies have a long history of public witness on matters of economic justice. John Wesley set the example in his famous sermon on "The Use of Money" his public stand against slavery, and his witness among England's working class. The 1908 "Social Creed" committed The Methodist Episcopal Church to work for the protection and rights of people disadvantaged by society. The Evangelical United Brethren Church made a comparable commitment to personal, social, and international justice in its Discipline statement, "Moral Standards of The Evangelical United Brethren Church"(Section IX).As United Methodists at the dawn of a new millennium, "We claim all economic systems to be under the judgment of God no less than other facets of the created order" (Social Principles, ¶163, 2004 Discipline).
Revise Section III, A, as follows:
A. Concentration of Wealth and Power
"We support measures that would reduce the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few" (Social Principles ¶ 163, 2004 Discipline).
As transnational corporations and banks have extended their ownership and control of agriculture, industry, land, finances, and communications, two consequences have emerged:
1. The separation between the rich and the poor has become greater. The United Nations
1997 2005 Human Development Report found that of the world’s 100 largest economies, 50 are transnational corporations. the 2.5 billion people living on less than $2.00 per day (40% of the world’s population) account for 5% of global income. The richest 10%, almost of all of whom live in the high -income countries, account for 54% of global income. The United Nations 1998 2006 Human Development Report found that the combined gross domestic product of 48 of the world’s poorest countries is worth less than the assets of the world’s three wealthiest people : “The world’s 500 richest people have an income of more than $100 billion dollars not taking into account asset wealth.” That total exceeds the combine incomes of the poorest 416 million persons. The 50 Least Developed Countries (the world’s poorest countries) as established by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 2006 collectively had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $ 236.3 billion while the net worth of the five wealthiest persons in 2006 was $248.5 billion.
2. Many corporations have become increasingly anonymous and unaccountable to their employees, to the communities in which they operate, and to governments.
Revise Section III, B, as follows:
B. Production and Work
Every person has the right and responsibility to work for the benefit of himself or herself and the enhancement of human life and community to receive adequate remuneration" (¶ 73C, 1984 Book of Discipline; ¶ 67C, with different language, 1996 Discipline). Every person has the right to a job at a living wage. Where the private sector cannot or does not provide jobs for all who seek and need them, it is the responsibility or government to provide for the creation of such jobs ( Social Principles ¶ 163C, 2004 Discipline).
Around the world, working people share many of the same concerns: unjust hours and wages; unsafe workplaces; sexual harassment; and discrimination because of race, age, disability, and sexual orientation. Some workers encounter harassment, violence, or job loss for even raising issues of concern with their employer; aging workers are quickly "let go" from their jobs for having reached a company-imposed "senior" status and are suddenly replaced with "more energetic," younger persons; young workers accept lower wages more readily; and many workers are employed full-time but are unable to live above poverty conditions. Women are profoundly vulnerable to poverty because women's labor, whether in the home or community, has traditionally gone unrecognized, undervalued, unpaid, or underpaid. Overall, women have yet to attain pay equity for their time, dexterity, or expertise in the workplace.
According to the 1997 Human Development Report, 500 companies account for 2/3 of international trade. Most Many transnational corporations have transferred much of the their manufacturing base of from industrial countries to developing countries, seeking cheap labor and less stringent environmental practices, consumer protection, and occupational safety and health codes. They have taken advantage of favorable tax treatment for overseas investment, employer or government suppression of labor organizing, and the employment of the most vulnerable persons for the lowest of wages. Women, especially young women, indigenous persons, and even children toil for long hours under harsh and unsafe conditions.
Amend Section III, C, first paragraph, as follows:
C. Development, Debt, and Structural Adjustment
"We affirm the right and duty of the people of all nations to determine their own destiny. We urge the major political powers to use their non-violent power to maximize the political, social, and economic self-determination of other nations rather than to further their own special interests . . . We urge Christians in every society to encourage the governments under which they live and the economic entities within their societies to aid and work for the development of more just economic orders" (Social Principles,
¶75B ¶ 165B, 1984 2004 Discipline ¶69B, with different language, 1996 Discipline ).
Revise Section III, D, as follows:
D. Military Spending
"...that human values must outweigh military claims as governments determine their priorities; that the militarization of society must be challenged and stopped; and that the manufacture, sale, and deployment of armaments must be reduced and controlled"(Social Principles,
¶69C ¶165C, 1996 2004 Discipline).
Amend Section IV as follows:
IV. The Effects of the Global Economic System
According to the 2006/2007 Globalization mission study book, Globalization and its Impact on People's Lives, that was used at Schools of Christian Mission,
I injustices are imposed upon the people of the world by economies characterized by a concentration of wealth and power, an export-based development, heavy indebtedness, and reliance on a militarized national security system. The belief that competition results in greater economic growth underlies much of the emerging global economic order. In the production and consumption of goods, corporations are to compete with corporations, individuals with one another, and societies with other societies. The central value is “more.” Greed and the corporate culture of materialism, of “more is better,” have permeated our world. It is a culture that has little use for those who lack the means to consume. These conditions produce a culture that has little use for those who lack the means to consume. The following evidence shows the effects of the global economy:
Amend Section IV, 2, as follows:
2. As transnational corporations shift centers of production, unemployment and underemployment is increasing in some parts of the world, while education and job training have not kept pace with the global economy.
According to the
1998-99 2006 International labor Organization (ILO) World Employment Report , some one billion workers, one third of the world labor force, remain unemployed or underemployed. in 2005 noted that out of the 2.8 billion workers in the world, nearly 1.4 billion still did not earn enough to lift themselves and their families above the USA $2 a day poverty line. In a 1996 report, the ILO reported that at least 120 million children between the ages of five to 14 were fully at work which leaves them little time for school education. In a 2006 ILO report on the International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC) some 211 million children aged 5-14 can be found at work.
Add Section IV, 7, as follows:
7. Millions of low wage workers affected by the global economy are migrants. A migrant worker refers to a person “who is to be engaged, is engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a State [country] of which he or she is not a national.” In 2005, 191 million migrants (3% of the world population) lived outside their country and nearly half of them were female. In 1990 the United Nations adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families which states in its Preamble “Convinced that the rights of migrant workers and members of their families have not been sufficiently recognized everywhere and therefore require appropriate international protection...”And, further gives consideration to the fact that “... workers who are non-documented or in an irregular situation are frequently employed under less favourable conditions of work than other workers and that certain employers find this an inducement to seek such labour in order to reap the benefits of unfair competition.” Migrants are among the most vulnerable in any society and women and children more often than not become the objects of abuse and brutality.
Amend Section V as follows:
V. Call to Action
The United Methodist Church, as a covenant community committed to God's justice, must work toward a just global economy. Our Social Principles remind us that "in spite of general affluence in the industrialized nations, the majority of persons in the world live in poverty. In order to provide basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, education, health care, and other necessities, ways must be found to share more equitably the resources of the world" (Social Principles, ¶163E, 2004 Discipline). Faced with securing economic justice for a global society, the General Conference calls upon: