Growth – and ends, or a means?


I was just revising a presentation for one of my classes on the topic of economic growth; in the presentation I present a few alternative approaches to assessing “success” on the national and international level. Proponents of steady state economics and the degrowth movements suggest that in “(over)developed” economies there is no longer a strong correlation between economic growth and the well-being of that society. Much like choice and wealth – going from having nothing to something is certainly a good thing, but the relationship is not always a linear one. In biology, growth is good to a certain point, and then it’s not a good thing… people are starting to understand that the same is likely true with economic growth.

That being said, I pulled up all references to economic growth in the recent US Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates, as I believe it drives home the point just how deeply ingrained the idea of growth as THE path to wellness is in North America – and how challenging it will be to challenge this underlying assumption at the policy level.

 


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Category: Teaching