'What we need now is economic and social development...'

Discussion in 'Economy' started by midcan5, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. midcan5

    midcan5 liberal / progressive

    Jun 4, 2007
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    Philly, PA
    "Impossibility statements are the very foundation of science. It is impossible to: travel faster than the speed of light; create or destroy matter-energy; build a perpetual motion machine, etc. By respecting impossibility theorems we avoid wasting resources on projects that are bound to fail. Therefore economists should be very interested in impossibility theorems, especially the one to be demonstrated here, namely that it is impossible for the world economy to grow its way out of poverty and environmental degradation. In other words, sustainable growth is impossible." Link below

    By Stabroek staff | June 12, 2010 in Letters

    "That said, my position is that: “Achieving a good life for more than 6 billion people, without further threatening the ecological systems on which we all depend, is the greatest challenge of our age” (Simms and Smith). Mr David Cameron, the new British Prime Minister, has argued that instead of focusing on GDP (Gross Domestic Product) we should put our faith in GWB (General Well-Being) measured by indicators such as the Happy Planet Index of the NEF (New Economics Foundation). “It goes to show,” he observed, “what most of us instinctively feel: that the pursuit of wealth is no longer – if it ever was – enough to meet people’s hopes and aspirations; that over-consumption of the world’s resources cannot satisfy our most inborn desires; and yes, that quality of life means more than quantity of money."

    As if to enhance this conclusion, the environmentalist, Alan Durning found that, compared to 1950, GDP per capita in the USA has tripled since 1950 and that the average American family has twice as many cars, uses twenty-one times as much plastic, and travels twenty-five times further by air, but that life satisfaction has fallen. “More Americans say their marriages are unhappy, their jobs are unfulfilling, and they don’t like the place where they live. In the UK, per capita GDP grew 66 per cent between 1973 and 2001, but has failed to translate into higher satisfaction levels. Suicide rates have increased markedly, as have levels of violence, alcoholism, drug addiction and substance abuse.” Using recent conservative estimates, in a typical calendar year, the United Kingdom stops living off its own natural resources and starts to ‘live off’ the rest of the world from about April 15. No wonder Secretary of State Benn, noted: “A good life in the twenty-first century will have to be one that is lived within the earth’s means, consuming the resources of just one planet, and not the three that the WWF estimates we are currently using.""

    Stabroek News - What we need now is economic and social development ? qualitative improvement without growth in consumption

    Sustainable Growth: An Impossibility Theorem by Herman E. Daly


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