The Last Boom-Bust Cycle

Can our planet sustain an economic recovery?

The Last Boom-Bust Cycle

All eyes are on the economy as startling statistics are released daily: the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 35% this year, jobless claims are at a 26 year high in the United States and over twenty-five banks failed in the US alone in 2008.

Given the constant litany of bad news, most people now understand that years of unsustainable growth based upon overzealous money lending and rampant financial speculation have pushed the world into a major economic depression. In other words, the capitalist roller coaster ride has reached the summit of a period of economic boom and we are now racing to the bottom of an economic bust.

Cries for help resound from all sides. But all these urgent calls seem to have one common assumption: that what we need is an economic recovery. Is this necessarily the case? I wonder whether an economic recovery is really in our collective best interest or whether it will simply mean the resumption of a period of unsustainable growth in anticipation of another (even worse) economic collapse.

And then there is the question of whether our weary, devastated planet can even sustain another period of economic growth.

Is it time we stopped calling for an an economic recovery and started demanding an economic rethinking?

Micah M. White is a Contributing Editor at Adbusters Magazine and an independent activist. Micah is currently writing a book of philosophical meanderings into the future of activism. He lives in Binghamton, NY with his wife and two cats.