The Guardian has been asking a simple question this week: What economic system would really benefit humanity?
Yesterday it was the turn of Alex Cobham of Christian Aid to comment:
This week's question can only be answered by thinking about what we mean by "benefit humanity".
And as he puts it:
To benefit humanity - all of us, that is - means moving towards an economic system whose outcomes are more equitable and stable than the existing one. As the financial crisis is revealing, economic instability can have terrible human costs, even in the richest countries. In the poorest, as our recent report showed, the impact can be devastating.
One cause of poverty is that the globalisation of business activity has run far ahead of governments' and regulators' ability to ensure it delivers for their people. This is the underlying cause of the current crisis.
He's right. And as he concludes:
What is needed is a new transparency in the global economic system. It should ensure that companies and individuals pay the taxes they owe and are unable, ever again, to inflict the huge costs of this crisis on the great mass of humanity who bear no blame.
Amen to that.