Economic Justice Forum Resources
Glossary of Terms - Economic Injustice / Justice
Antitrust Regulations: Federal and state laws that regulate the conduct of corporations to promote fair competition. They restrict mergers and prohibit the creation of a monopoly. The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1894 attempted to prevent rampant price discrimination between different purchasers, where such discrimination tends to create a monopoly. Also addressed exclusive dealing agreements, tying arrangements, mergers and acquisitions that substantially reduce market competition. Resulted in the breakup of Standard Oil Corporation.
Austerity: A Neo-liberal strategy/economic policies a government undertakes to control public sector debt transferring expenses to those who are least able to discharge the debt while protecting bond holders. Fiscal hardships often happen after giving corporations subsidies and favorable tax policy for the wealthy.
B-Corps: For-profit companies issued a private certification by B Lab, a global non-profit organization. It requires companies to meet social sustainability, environmental standards, and accountability standards, and to be transparent to the public. For-profits of all legal business structures are eligible for certification. Recognized in Illinois as an official corporate charter (pending in Iowa). Used as an ethical marketing tool for sustainable capitalism.
Barter: A form of trade in which one good or service is exchanged directly for another, without the use of money as an intermediary. See Time bank.
Capitalism: An economic system in which privately-owned companies and businesses undertake most economic activity (with the goal of private profit), while most work is performed by employed workers paid wages or salaries.
Carried Interest: A loophole in tax policy that allow highly compensated money managers to defer compensation as capital gains instead of ordinary income. The total tax benefit for private-equity partners costs the US Treasury between $2 and $15 billion dollars in 2016.
Co-Housing: An intentional community of private homes clustered around shared space. It facilitates interaction among neighbors for social, practical, economic and environmental benefits. Often land is held in common via a Community Land Trust.
Collaboration: The process of two or more people or organizations working together to realize or achieve something successfully.
Community Land Trust: A nonprofit corporation that develops and stewards affordable housing, community gardens, civic buildings, commercial spaces and other community assets on behalf of a community. Usually owns land in common and sub-leases land for development.
Corporate Welfare: A term that analogizes corporate subsidies to welfare payments for the poor. The term is often used to describe a government's bestowal of money grants, tax breaks, or other special favorable treatment for corporations. It highlights how wealthy corporations are less in need of such treatment than the poor.
Externalizing Costs: Large corporations or industries can coerce government, general public to pay for up front developmental expenses that smaller businesses or individuals cannot.
Financialization: The trend under neoliberalism through which real production in the economy is accompanied by an increasing degree of financial activity and intermediation (including various forms of lending, financial assets, and securitization). One way to measure financialization is by the ratio of total financial assets to real capital assets in an economy.
Free Market: A free market is a system in which the prices for goods and services are determined by the open market and consumers, in which the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, price-setting monopoly, or other authority. In practice does not exist because most markets are controlled by large cartels.
Gig economy: Matches providers to consumers on a gig (or job) basis in an on-demand commerce. It bypasses normal employee/employer relations, often used to reduce costs for corporations by converting employees into temporary 1099 contractors.
Globalization: Economic activity across national borders. Moving production facilities with the intent to lower labor costs by seeking low wage/low regulation countries. Workers in Vietnam will often work for less than 30 cents per hour.
GDP (Gross Domestic Product): The value of all goods and services produced for money in an economy.
Marginalizing Unions: Concerted effort to diminish or dissolve unions, including efforts such as right to work and collective bargaining legislation.
Monopolistic Market Control: Where one corporation or a cartel of few offer products or services to the public at inflated rates after creating barriers for free market competitors. Often facilitated by collusion with governmental agencies.
Mutual Aid Societies: A common 19th century association of people who voluntarily exchanged/shared resources and services for mutual benefit. They had shared leadership and cooperative decision-making with member status being equal.
Neoliberalism: A modern, harsher incarnation of capitalism which became dominant shared globally beginning in the early 1980s, largely as a reaction to international economic and political problems. Neoliberal policies have emphasized deregulation (including labor markets), privatization, globalization, and strict monetary policy.
Privatization of Income/Wealth: A way to make money from something that used to be free (privatization of public resources, institutions, schools, wealth).
Progressive Tax: A tax is considered progressive if a larger proportionate share of its total burden falls on individuals with higher average incomes.
Rent Seeking: The extraction of uncompensated value from others without making any contribution to productivity.
Resource extraction: Often passive removal of productive resources for the private gain. Can include natural resources, community or personal wealth.
Trickle-Down Economics: A term associated with laissez-faire capitalism used to characterize economic policies as favoring the wealthy or privileged. It argues for income tax breaks or other financial benefits to large businesses, investors and entrepreneurs in order to stimulate economic growth.
Shop Local: Think independent small neighborhood businesses. Locally owned boutique or consignment clothing stores, gift shops, hardware stores, salons/spas and restaurants are just a few examples of owner-run businesses. Spend dollars within your region.
Slow Money: A movement to organize investors and donors to steer new sources of capital to small food enterprises, organic farms, and local food systems. (Google: Woody Tasch)
Socialization of Costs/Expenses: See externalizing costs
Sustainability: A condition in which the economy does not utilize more resources from the natural environment than can be replenished by the normal reproductive capacity of the environment, and does not expel more pollution than can be absorbed without ongoing deterioration in environmental quality.
Time Banks: A way of obtaining or selling goods and services in the absence of currency. Give one hour of service to another, and receive one time credit back. A cooperative network of members have agreed that they will give and receive credits for services that other members provide. Typically no money is exchanged.
Triple P.: The three p’s stand for "people, planet and profit." It’s a business model with a triple bottom line measuring a company's degree of social responsibility, its economic value and its environmental impact. Equal consideration is the guiding principle. Often associated with Benefit Corporations.
Wealth disparity: The unequal distribution of assets within a population often described as the GINI index with international comparison.
Wealth Extraction: See resource extraction
Worker Co-op’s: A worker cooperative is a cooperative that is owned and self-managed by its workers. The majority of its workforce own shares.
Economics for Everyone: By Jim Stanford © Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Wikipedia, and Investopedia