Each individual tries to satisfy their own needs and those of their loved ones. However, when living in society it is inevitable to address the issue of the welfare of the community or the common good.
an ethical principle
The principle of the common good has an ethical dimension. Thus, instead of thinking about the individual and concrete human being, it is about thinking about the interests of society as a whole. In other words, something can be beneficial and valid for me, but harmful for a community. Consequently, the ethical purpose of this idea is to establish what is good for the majority and not for the few.
The general welfare of citizenship
The common good concept and the general interest are equivalent. Both are used synonymously. For this idea to make sense, the state must articulate a legal structure and certain principles that allow for the dignity of each of the people who are part of society.
Examples of everyday life from which an idea of the common good is imposed
– Cleaning and maintenance of public spaces.
– Prevention campaigns to promote health (eg vaccines for the elderly or campaigns against the consumption of alcohol, tobacco or any addictive substance).
– Planting trees to improve the quality of life of citizens.
– Changes in urban design to promote universal accessibility.
– Educational projects to promote cooperation and mutual help.
From an economic perspective
The capitalist system is based on two general principles: free competition and the desire for profit . Faced with this model, some economists propose an alternative vision based on sustainability, collective projects and a fairer distribution of wealth. This alternative model is inspired by the principle of the common good.
In fact, to realize this alternative economic idea it is necessary to rethink some issues. In this sense, it is necessary to abandon purely monetary criteria and emphasize everything that benefits society as a whole.
In other words, concepts such as GDP do not say anything about other relevant issues related to collective well-being, such as peace, quality of employment , equal opportunities, citizen participation , distribution of wealth or respect for the environment .
Given this economic paradigm designed for the well-being of the majority, companies that worked for the benefit of all would obtain a series of advantages (for example, less taxes or credits with reduced interest ) and companies that ignored the general interest would be penalized.