Social, environmental, and economic goals are so intertwined that no one is more important or attainable without a focus on the other two. This balance should be the goal standard by which all policies and legislation should strive to achieve. I believe that this goal is best achieved by strictly regulating environmental standards and social justice while allowing the free market competition which strives for efficiency. All three of these aims would have different final interpretations if taken individually than the result when all three are combined. A world based fully on environmental principles would be so biocentric to the point of being socially unjust and economically inefficient, just as a world based fully on social justice would be environmentally unsound and poorly functioning economically. As we already know, a world based completely on maximizing monetary efficiency, like the one we currently live in, is bad for the environment and unfairly secludes certain people due to their socioeconomic status.
In an ideal world I think that the federal and state governments should work at a strictly regulatory level, based on ethical principles. The government should work to ensure that free market companies fully uphold the stringent environmental standards necessary to ensure the sustainability of our limited resources. These standards in combination with practices that support the distribution of wealth within our society would work toward all three goals of environmental, social, and economic health. Like we saw in the talk by Hans Rosling, even wealth distribution is critical to the overall happiness and wellbeing of societies, including our global society. Regulating for strict environmental goals as well as maintaining effective social programs like healthcare and food support while allowing the free market to work for efficiency would balance all of the facets of a sustainable society. With the government serving strictly as an ethical regulatory agency and allowing traditional “capitalistic” business to operate within socially and environmentally healthy constraints I believe that all of these goals can be achieved without any of them becoming the top priority.