Is Economic Growth the Answer?

Financial bailouts are not the key to a healthy economy. It's time to shift from pursuing a bigger economy to pursuing a better, non-growing, steady state economy.
Is Economic Growth the Answer?

In an attempt to reverse the financial meltdown and get the economy growing again, heads of state, Wall Street financiers, Federal Reserve economists and CEOs are all scrambling to arrange bailouts for banks and businesses. I believe that if these leaders continue down the bailout trail, they will only make matters worse. Financial shell games aimed at coaxing more growth out of an already overgrown economy just add fuel to the fire.

If economic growth is the answer, how did we arrive at this mess in the first place?

Three frightening features of the economic landscape come to mind:

  • A debt-riddled financial system coupled with growing unemployment and inequities between the haves and have-nots;
  • Profound environmental problems such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and deforestation that are the unintended consequences of market activity;
  • Increasing demand for energy despite dwindling supplies and intense international competition for the Earth’s remaining resources.

After 60 years of growth, these problems have only worsened. Despite decades of political rhetoric to the contrary, economic growth conflicts with environmental health. At this juncture in history it is time to re-envision our economic goals and shift from pursuing a bigger economy to pursuing a better, non-growing, steady state economy. Such a shift toward “right-sizing” is the path to sustainability and true prosperity. It’s time for economists and our business leaders to poke their heads outside the neoclassical economics box.

_Rob Dietz is the executive director of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE), www.steadystate.org. Voice support for the steady state economy by visiting CASSE’s website and signing the common sense position on economic growth.

68 comments on the article “Is Economic Growth the Answer?”

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Anonymous

you people are greedy ass scumbag's that deserve death because you only care about yourself.nobody that writes on this forum care's about the environment.I willing to bet 70% of you drive a car.and saw adbusters in your local barnes&nobel or borders and said hay I think I'll write something about my world.you want to know who I am zombie I go to my local home depot and buy from the discount wood bin rack cart and make a dirt back pack box and then scale a building or find the hatch and put it on top.I don't us heat in winter unless it's below 0.I ride my bike everywhere or take public transport.I drill hopes into the pavement and then put dirt in them.I take bikes from salvation army which I pay for and put them in a local park free.so don't tell me anymore of your shit.

Anonymous

you people are greedy ass scumbag's that deserve death because you only care about yourself.nobody that writes on this forum care's about the environment.I willing to bet 70% of you drive a car.and saw adbusters in your local barnes&nobel or borders and said hay I think I'll write something about my world.you want to know who I am zombie I go to my local home depot and buy from the discount wood bin rack cart and make a dirt back pack box and then scale a building or find the hatch and put it on top.I don't us heat in winter unless it's below 0.I ride my bike everywhere or take public transport.I drill hopes into the pavement and then put dirt in them.I take bikes from salvation army which I pay for and put them in a local park free.so don't tell me anymore of your shit.

An Earthling

Hey, man. You are fine. I hope you have enough to eat because you sound angry. Easy does it,mate. How 'bout this? ..."The elite power systems are little affected in the long run by traditional protest and political movements. We must move beyond these 'establishment rebellions' and work with a tool much more powerful: We will stop supporting the system, while constantly advocating knowledge, peace, unity and compassion. We cannot "fight the system". Hate, anger and the 'war' mentality are failed means for change, for they perpetuate the same tools the corrupt, established power systems use to maintain control to begin with." Please join us here http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/home.html

An Earthling

Hey, man. You are fine. I hope you have enough to eat because you sound angry. Easy does it,mate. How 'bout this? ..."The elite power systems are little affected in the long run by traditional protest and political movements. We must move beyond these 'establishment rebellions' and work with a tool much more powerful: We will stop supporting the system, while constantly advocating knowledge, peace, unity and compassion. We cannot "fight the system". Hate, anger and the 'war' mentality are failed means for change, for they perpetuate the same tools the corrupt, established power systems use to maintain control to begin with." Please join us here http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/home.html

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