The current economic system makes local communities so dependent on distant economic activities and powers that their survival is seriously threatened by the vulnerability of those activities and powers and the systems that connect the global economy together. Furthermore, their self-determinism is undermined, their costs and environmental impact are increased by long-distance transportation of goods, and local jobs and entrepreneurship are undermined by global competition.
The emerging economy values and supports local economics as a source of environmental sustainability and community quality of life. When local economies are healthy, local feedback dynamics are tighter and quicker, allowing for more rapid adaptation, making the community more resilient to economic shocks, natural disasters and social disturbances. Local economic health is largely dependent on local cultures and institutions that validate and support self-reliance, cooperative action and mutual aid in every sector, and a consciousness of interdependence among community members, within the bioregion, and with natural systems.
While the focus on local economics tends to favor decentralization, the emerging economic vision recognizes the interdependence of local, regional, national, and global conditions and that some functions are best performed at higher levels.