We have combined the NewRules.org and ILSR.org websites to better coordinate and publicize our work. All of the New Rules Project activity, research, and information continues here, on Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s new web site.
The New Rules Project had an extensive collection of rules — policies, bills, regulations, and ordinances — has also been transferred here. These policy models can be found in a long unorganized list under the Rules Library.
For subject specific rules in the archive of the New Rules Project, please use the links below.
- Agriculture Rules
- Banking Rules
- Broadband Rules
- Composting Rules
- Energy Rules and more recent policy in our Community Power Map
- Appliance and Equipment Efficiency Standards
- Building Energy Code – Minnesota< CLEAN Programs (Feed-In Tariffs)
- Climate Change
- Community Choice Aggregation
- Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED)
- Decoupling Energy Profits from Sales
- Distributed Generation Barriers Removed – California
- Distributed Generation in Local Plans
- Distributed Generation Interconnection Standards
- Efficiency Vermont
- Environmental Disclosure – Illinois
- Ethanol and Biodiesel
- Green Citizenship – Salem Electric Cooperative
- Maine Community Based Renewable Energy Production Incentive
- Mercury Pollution
- Municipal Financing for Renewables and Efficiency
- Natural Gas Price Breaks for Distributed Generation – New Jersey
- Net Metering
- Plug-in Electric Vehicles
- Renewable Fuels Standard
- Renewable Portfolio Standards< Solar Bonding
- Solar Energy
- Solar Permitting
- Value Decentralized Power by Getting the Prices Right
- Vehicle Limitations
- Wind Energy Taxation – Minnesota
- Wisconsin Utility Renewable Energy Production Incentives
- Environment Rules
- Equity Rules
EQUITY is achieved when communities take responsibility for their own and for future generations. Accepting responsibility is the second major pillar of the ARC of community (Authority, Responsibility, and Capacity). Without authority we cannot become responsible for ourselves. Without responsibility, authority will indeed be exercised in shortsighted and often intolerant ways.
Are communities inherently intolerant, narrowminded, selfish and shortsighted? History is replete with examples that bolster this view. Yet communities have also been the locus of mutual aid networks, and in many cases, community level production systems are the most environmentally responsible.
This section of the web site identifies rules that encourage communities to accept responsibility towards their own less fortunate members and less fortunate members in other communities. The rules deal primarily with the issue of equity: providing livable wages, health care and education to all citizens.
- Governance Rules Governance works best when those who feel the impact of the decisions are those involved in making the decisions. That principle works as well in the private sector as the public sector. The other sections of the New Rules web site focus largely on outcomes. This one focuses largely on process. What are the mechanisms that encourage the most democratic and socially responsible kinds of decisionmaking?Broadening the Electorate. The right to vote is the bedrock of democracy and liberty. Obstacles to the right to vote should be reduced to a minimum.
Making Elections Fair. Fairness means that voters get a real choice, which in turn requires that we enact rules that encourage the growth of many political parties. Fairness means that all voters have an equal vote, which means enacting laws that limit the influence of money over elections.
Embracing Subsidiarity – The burden of proof should be on a higher level of government to justify its intervention in local affairs.
Protecting Liberty. The Bill of Rights was enacted to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. Civil liberties must be protected, even when that requires the intervention of higher levels of government. But these should exercise authority cautiously to allow for maximum individual freedom.
- The Public Good Rules At the dawn of our Republic the word “public” was esteemed and often connected to the word “good”. Today all things public are under attack: public libraries, public schools, public arts, public health, public assets in general. The commons, that is, those things that we own collectively and can access freely or at very low cost, is dramatically shrinking, and with it our sense of community and interconnectedness. The justification, say the advocates of privatization, is that the public is inefficient and wasteful. But many, many studies have found that public management is at least as efficient as private management, decision making is much more localized and the company/agency is far, far more responsive to its “customers”.Advertising
Anti-Privatization Initiatives Efforts to privatize government services in cities and states do not always save the city money, replace well paid and benefited largely unionized public workers with low paid, lesser benefited and non-unionized private workers, and reduce or even eliminate effective control over this public service by the public. A number of states and cities have established rules governing the pace and process of privatization. In 1990 Illinois enacted a ban on private prisons which remains in place in 2012, declaring that “the management and operation of a correctional facility or institution involves functions that are inherently governmental.”… Read More Pacheco Law in Massachusetts. In 1993, after Massachusetts government privatized 36 operations in the previous 3 years, the legislature passed what came to be called the Pacheco Law over then-Governor William F. Weld’s veto. The law imposes the strictest series of tests in the nation before a service can be privatized.… Read More
Financial Transaction Tax In 1970 more than 95 percent of currency trades were for activities linked to what many call the “real economy” — investment, tourism, foreign aid, trade. Today only two percent are. The volume of currency trading is now some 50 times greater than the volume of trade in goods and services. We trade more than $100 worth of stock and bonds for every dollar raised for investment in new plant and equipment, a ratio almost four times greater than 30 years ago. This delinking of money from place and productive investment is not the inevitable result of technological advances or economic evolution. Money is a human invention and rules that control its dynamic are also a human invention. To slow down the speculative and destablizing flow of money, John Maynard Keynes proposed a small financial transaactions tax in 1930. In the 1970s, Nobel Prize winning economist James Tobin proposed a tax on international financial transactions. The modest tax could dampen volatility and encourage longer term investment. Today traders hold assets for a few hours, or even a few minutes. They are happy with a very small return on each trade. Financial transactions taxes are in place in more than 15 countries. The U.S. had a financial transactions tax from 1914 to 1966 but then reduced it to a trivial .004 percent tax only on stock transfers to generate revenue to support the operations of the Securities and Excahnge Commission. Recently there has been renewed interest in such a tax on international financial transactions.
As always, we welcome your questions and feedback.