Prosperous, self-sufficient local economies form the foundation of ROUT’s socio-economic system. Today, people throughout the world face stagnant or declining living standards due to increasing economic inequality caused by the concentration of wealth.
PROUT supports the policy of economic decentralization so that local people gain control over their economic destinies and wealth is distributed more equitably. Decentralizing the economy entails
local control of economic planning,
production mainly for local consumption,
production and distribution managed by local cooperatives which are embedded in the community,
targeted hiring of local residents to achieve 100% employment, and
the gradual elimination of all non-local products and services.
Through extensive and intensive decentralization, localities will become more self-sufficient and build wealth for their residents. The implementation of decentralization will of course vary according to economic efficiencies. For example, while most of the production of food could be handled locally, a regional production facility would be more practical for auto production and other large-scale industries.
Employment is the core strategy in PROUT for distributing wealth to individuals and ensuring that they are able to purchase the necessary goods and services for their basic needs and development. Except for those with special needs and unable to work, all able-bodied adults should have access to jobs with decent wages.
Prout views welfare economies which rely on public supports and/or private charity to provide their working population with basic needs as basically defective. Through proper economic planning and equitable pay scales, adequate employment opportunities can be generated. The former may require the creation of labor-intensive enterprises in the initial stages, as well as the reduction of working hours later on as the pace of automation increases. The latter will be ensured through PROUT’s extensive system of cooperatives which will be responsible for most of the production in the economy. The collective ownership structure of cooperatives is committed to an equitable distribution of wages and profits, resulting in improved living standards for its workers.
Additionally, economic regions that plan for 100% employment must target job creation for local residents who spend most of their wages and profits locally. Non-local populations tend to extract the wealth they accumulate from the local economy, thereby weakening the region’s ability to grow and create jobs.