I have heard it said that only the mad and economists think that perpetual growth is possible in a finite world.
Kenneth Boulding but still.
(Chart of rise in GDP per capita.)
Is that growth mad?
Is it unreal?
Is it unsustainable?
Is it time economics realised that this cannot continue and ask, in stead, what else is possible?
The answer to all four is yes.
At which point we need some basics. What is GDP? It is the value added in the economy over a set period of time.
Is adding more value mad?
Is adding more value unreal?
Is adding more value unsustainable?
Does economics need to realise that this cannot continue and instead ask what else is possible?
The answer to all four is no.
Consider this for a moment. The next argument – we can see this one coming down the pike from a mile away – is that instead of increasing GDP we should be trying to increase security, or love, or community because these add real value to our lives. Sure, so, we’re increasing value then, right?
But then Spud never has bothered to find out what economics is trying to tell him, has he?