Economic growth is the main objective of governments around the world. Growth leads to prosperity, happiness, employment and progress. Or does it? Even on its own terms, growth isn’t working. Wealth doesn’t translate into happiness. Poverty and unemployment are rife. And yet when the system slows down things really fall apart. Consumption drops, bankruptcies pile up, factories close, unemployment soars and social pathologies multiply. It’s a vicious circle. It used to be that we needed more people to work because we needed the goods and services they produce. Now we need to keep increasing production to keep people employed, to keep capital investment profitable and to keep the endless cycle of production and consumption spinning. There’s got to be a better way.
July 2010, Issue 434