At the United Nations 58th Session of the Commission for Social Development, with a focus on homelessness, Grove Harris was able to present a critique of austerity measures and a set of healthier alternatives.
The American Heritage Dictionary tells us that economy is management of resources of the household, or of the country, coming from Greek ‘oikos’ for house. The economy of the whole world can be seen as our house, and collectively we must be proactive to counteract homelessness. The looming debt crisis, if met with austerity measures, will negatively impact human rights and sustainable development. Homelessness is bound to increase. There are healthier alternatives for our global and national “households.” Isabel Ortiz Director of the Global Social Justice Program, Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, suggests
· increasing progressive tax revenues,
· cracking down on illicit financial flows,
· improving debt management
· and using fiscal and foreign exchange reserves,
· to adopting more accommodative macroeconomic frameworks,
· reprioritizing public expenditures
· and -for lower income countries- lobbying for greater aid.
All these options are endorsed by the United Nations and the international financial institutions.
It is time for world leaders to abandon the myopic scope of macroeconomic and fiscal policy decisions that benefit few and, instead, look for new fiscal space and financing opportunities to foster a robust global recovery and the achievement of long-term global prosperity for all.”