A new economic direction needed in Northborough

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To the Editor:

 

The Town of Northborough Master Planning Committee held its third and last public meeting Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. at the Zeh School.  Business as usual and doing the same thing, only more of it, is not leading the town to prosperity nor its residents to fairness in tax cost burden or a quality life style.  We need to adopt an economy that focuses on the majority, especially those on fixed or moderate incomes, plus the quality of life, not open ended growth; that focuses on ecological recovery, food, air and freshwater security, climate change and economic justice as the economy shrinks.  Depleting our natural resources is not economic growth.  Seeing how many buildings and people you can squeeze into a finite land space with a finite assimilation capacity is not planning.

A steady state economy is an alternative to economic growth and its conflict with the environment.

Emphasis is placed on health, prosperity, community, green technology, high life expectancy, low infant mortality, meaningful work and jobs and stabilization of the population.  The main elements of a steady state economy seeks to eliminate boom or bust cycles, restore natural capital and ecosystem services and maintain and enhance built capital.  It also strives to establish an equal access to the common equitable assigned property rights for common resources, equitable distribution of common wealth and limits to private income and wealth inequality.  Communities have the right to say what kind of development they want and how much.  Local residents have the right to prevent the rich, corporate interests, and developers from destroying their community in pursuit of profit.  An open-end growth and development philosophy with no regard for costs to the residents is failed sustainability.

Gib Chase
Northborough