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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JEvins

Dude most people on here just love to hear them selves talk and see how many four syllable words they can fit into their posts. Oh so educated by their corporate run colleges. RIDE YO BIKES!!!!!!!! DOWN WITH THE BIG 3!!!!!!

JEvins

Dude most people on here just love to hear them selves talk and see how many four syllable words they can fit into their posts. Oh so educated by their corporate run colleges. RIDE YO BIKES!!!!!!!! DOWN WITH THE BIG 3!!!!!!

A Human being

Unfortunately any type of monetary based economy will require bankers and army and polititians to mediate between the former and the TV-headed populace to defend their profiteering interests. Some form of an intermediate stage on the road to phase out money alltogether will come about after the collapse of capitalism. Science will help us to the growth beyond imagination in half a mellenium time and not much sooner I am afraid if persist with having politicians in charge of plebeians and bankers in charge of politicians. In the mean time have this for starters: "it is important to understand that our world is currently run, undeniably, by a small group of dominant men in high positions of those institutions which are most dominant in society- Business and Finance. The establishment of government is in tandem with the influence and power of corporations and banks. The life blood is money, which is, in fact, an illusion that now has little relevance to society and serves as a tool for manipulation and division along a kind of social organization that guarantees elitism, crime, war and social stratification." If have always felt it but couldn't put it into words join in at http://thezeitgeistmovement.com

A Human being

Unfortunately any type of monetary based economy will require bankers and army and polititians to mediate between the former and the TV-headed populace to defend their profiteering interests. Some form of an intermediate stage on the road to phase out money alltogether will come about after the collapse of capitalism. Science will help us to the growth beyond imagination in half a mellenium time and not much sooner I am afraid if persist with having politicians in charge of plebeians and bankers in charge of politicians. In the mean time have this for starters: "it is important to understand that our world is currently run, undeniably, by a small group of dominant men in high positions of those institutions which are most dominant in society- Business and Finance. The establishment of government is in tandem with the influence and power of corporations and banks. The life blood is money, which is, in fact, an illusion that now has little relevance to society and serves as a tool for manipulation and division along a kind of social organization that guarantees elitism, crime, war and social stratification." If have always felt it but couldn't put it into words join in at http://thezeitgeistmovement.com

Pear

Non-Growing economy you say.... cant exist sir. That would take away the point of having an economy in the first place.

Pear

Non-Growing economy you say.... cant exist sir. That would take away the point of having an economy in the first place.

A Human being

So let us do away with such an economy . It needs transforming and ultimately shpould give way to non-monetary based system of redistribution of planets resorses between its people. Let evolvr from corporate stone age. Some of us are almost human

A Human being

So let us do away with such an economy . It needs transforming and ultimately shpould give way to non-monetary based system of redistribution of planets resorses between its people. Let evolvr from corporate stone age. Some of us are almost human

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