What Does IPPA Stand For?

IPPA aims to focus attention and discourse on the moral imperatives underlying specific social policy issues. We believe this is the most effective way to require candidates to justify their positions, and to guide citizens in their political choices. We base our political actions on our belief in the equal worth and dignity of all individuals and the respect for human life. These two principles provide the basis and imperative for the other shared principles: the sanctity of our planet Earth; tolerance for one another and respect for privacy; the pursuit of knowledge; the need for truth and trustworthy leadership.

We advocate for a simple but powerful idea: that policies rooted in our shared human principles serve us better than policies based on narrow, one-sided considerations.  In particular, we oppose polcies based only on a purely economic model that says material success alone is the best measure of human happiness and well being. Ethical commitment provides the framework for securing and using material resources wisely. We favor using moral guidance to inform the standard economic model. We reject the commonly stated opinion that the Democrats have no consistent positions on ethical issues, and that the religious right owns the moral values topic within the Republican Party.

We are offering alternatives to the assumptions that lead to policy decisions based solely on the economic model and provide examples to illustrate and support them.

  • There are other strong desires or motives that coexist with the pursuit of individual profit, and should often trump material consumption and greed:
    1. Devotion to and respect and responsibility for family, community and country
    2. Concern for the well-being of others—empathy and altruism
    3. Trustworthiness and honesty
    4. Attention to the effect of public policies on whole families and the less advantaged
  • There are differences between choices that lead to the benefit of self and the privileged few rather than the society as a whole. Examples of the former:
    1. Closed bidding contracts—like Halliburton in Iraq
    2. Corporate welfare—Unjustifiable tax breaks for the Oil companies
    3. Undisclosed share options for CEOs and at same time reducing health benefits for salaried workers.
  • Cooperative behavior and decision making may prevail over competitive behavior, aimed at success or profit for just a few people, at the expense of the many.
    1. Examples include the Manhattan Project in WW ll, and peaceful space explorations in our age
    2. Shared goals and decisions are necessary across national boundaries, to deal with climate change, control pandemics and natural disasters, and certainly to fight terrorism
    3. Cooperation often includes individuals, governments, corporations and non –governmental organizations (NGOs).
  • Human well-being should not be measured in terms of material consumption.
    1. Unfettered consumption doesn’t take into account the resultant depletion of natural resources.
    2. Cheap consumer goods lead to loss of jobs at home and unfair labor practices abroad
  • IPPA is suggesting that human well-being be judged by:
    1. State of human health; including infant mortality, control of preventable diseases, work time lost to sickness and availability of universal affordable health care.
    2. Well-being of families; including raising the poor above the poverty level, adequate counseling and social services support to help families adjust to stress, adequate employment for the wage earner/s commensurate with their training and ability. adequate educational opportunity from preschool, K-12, and college, and adult education, and a safe and healthy environment.
    3. Bright future prospects for succeeding generations.

IPPA gratefully acknowledges what we have learned from Robert A.G. Monks, some of whose perspectives and goals converge with ours. See Bob Monks, “The Curse of the Corporate State: Saving Capitalism from itself,” Center for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI), New York, January, 2004.