Your thoughts please – a sustainable economy?

Calling Mssrs Chamberlain & Watson and others who have the background to give informed economic comment (No, not you Gordon!) – would value your thoughts on the concepts discussed here.

3 thoughts on “Your thoughts please – a sustainable economy?

  1. I’ve been saying for a long time that we (society, that is) needs to be having a conversation about growth. Endless growth is clearly unsustainable, and I presume it is possible to have a prosperous economy without growth year-on-year, although the current state of affairs in this country, indeed in Europe and the US, would seem to deny this. I agree with the ideas attributed to Keynes that we should not be focussed on the means (growth) but on the ends (well being). We need to work out what the ends would be, what our values are, how we want our society to look, where everyone is cared for, everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential, and our natural world is treasured for its intrinsic value. We in the global north cannot go on consuming at our current rate if we truly want to feed the world. For example, we cannot sustain the level of meat consumption in the global north across the whole world. Reducing inequality is absolutely key here, and that will need to be done by redistributing the wealth/resources we have and not by relying on creating more wealth. Creating more wealth or using more resources will work in part, and may be a part of the solution, but there are not enough resources for it to be the complete answer. So if you agree with the logic of this argument (ie the current wealth/resources must be redistributed to reduce inequality) you also agree that we in the global north must consume less. In global terms, ordinary people like you, me and the Watsons are rich beyond measure and we must consume less. We must reappraise what we consider to be enough to live on, what is fair, and what we need to have new and replaced, and our lifestyles would have to change. And not just us, but most of our society in Britain would have to do the same. And that, as far as I can see, is why it will never happen.

  2. looks good in principle, but this bit concerned me… “A steady state economy, therefore, aims for stable or mildly fluctuating levels in population … . Birth rates equal death rates… .” How do you control population growth without imposing China-style legislation that inevitably becomes repressive? If population is growing then GDP also has to grow by the same percentage to maintain a standard of living (unless we agree that our standard of living can go down). Not sure how workable this is then.

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