New Internationalist

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

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Nature's bottom line
Economic growth is an idea whose time has passed, argues Wayne Ellwood.
A fresh Breaze
An Australian town goes green. By Fiona Armstrong.
Greed at the top
Consumer culture has caught fire in India, writes Urvashi Butalia.
On the road to zero growth
Illustrations by Henrik Drescher. Text by Wayne Ellwood.
Coffee in the clouds
Roxana Olivera looks at local opposition to foreign mining companies in Ecuador.
Oops, no brakes!
Without growth the economy collapses. What’s the solution? Rowenna Davis asked Oxfam’s Duncan Green and researcher Tim Jackson for their opinions.
Workers of the world, relax!
Slowing growth could help us work less, live better and save the planet. So what’s not to like about that, wonders Zoe Cormier.
Vive la décroissance!
Julio Godoy talks to French de-growth guru Serge Latouche.
System change, not climate change
Jess Worth looks at how activists in Britain are broadening the climate change debate.
How poor is too poor?
Global poverty has seen a dramatic decline, says the World Bank. But is this so? David Woodward of the New Economics Foundation critiques the way poverty is measured and proposes an alternative to the dollar-a-day 'poverty line'.
Curfewed in the vale
In Kashmir, civilians are being pushed to the brink of disaster amidst protests, curfews and killings. Anger is hurt turned inside out, as Dilnaz Boga explains.
Tony Blair: a bright shining lie
Behind the smiles and peace awards stands a war-profiteer with a lot of answering to do, reckons Felicity Arbuthnot.
Somos pacifico!
Esme McAvoy meets Choc Quib Town, a rap trio putting Colombia’s Pacific on the (music) map.
Half truths and lies
There’s more to Colombia than the dark descriptions beloved of the international media. Benjamin Ball meets a man determined that his country should get the credit it deserves.
Against all odds
Somaliland voters recently braved terrorist threats against ‘the Devil’s practice’ and flocked to the polling booths. Stefan Simanowitz reports on elections in Somaliland, a country that ‘does not exist’.
The G20 fiasco
Heavy-handed doesn’t even begin to describe it. Jeff Carolin, a legal aid worker caught in the police dragnet, recounts his experiences.
'Equal rights is not a reality'
Sian Griffiths talks to Sima Samar, once Afghanistan’s most powerful female politician and now a fervent women’s rights campaigner.
Heads I win, tails you lose
Tabitha Nderitu considers the implications of Kenya’s new constitution.
The realm of magic
Anything can happen in football, they say. Eduardo Galeano looks back on the World Cup and agrees.
Letter from Cairo
Currents: Brutish Petroleum
While the world focuses on its catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP is also coming under fire from Colombian workers
Southern Exposure: Caught in the crossfire
Essay: Predators and scroungers
Richard Swift on the nature of the human beast.
Country Profile: United Arab Emirates
Facts, figures and ratings.
Film review: The Complaints Choir
Film review: Secrets of the Tribe