Creating global prosperity without economic growth

Are we ready for tomorrow?

Certainly we are more ready today than we were yesterday.  We finally seem to be on the verge of making real progress on climate change, despite current US setbacks.   Discussions are starting about food and water supply.  Discussions are getting more focused about what a post growth economy would look like.  Several areas have emerged where changes will be required for the transition from a growth oriented economy to a post growth economy.

Rich high rise building inequality

From page 21 of Enough is Enough, Ideas for a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources, The Report of the Steady State Economy Conference sponsored by CASSE (Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy), here are a some topics under discussion.

  1. Limiting Resource Use and Waste Production
  2. Stabilizing Population
  3. Distributing Income and Wealth
  4. Reforming the Monetary System
  5. Changing the Way We Measure Progress
  6. Securing Employment
  7. Rethinking Business and Production

I would explicitly add stabilizing the financial system, though it may be included as part of reforming the monetary system.

One main issue with a post growth economic system is that it is a zero sum game.  If I get richer, someone else must get poorer.  If I consume more, someone else must consume less.  This is a constraint but it needn’t be as gloomy as it sounds.  We can still improve fulfillment through more connectedness, volunteering, hobbies, family time, education, etc.   Most research (see Enough is Enough  report pages 29 and 30 for example) shows that happiness increases with income up to a relatively low level, say about $20,000 per capita and then levels off.  More income doesn’t bring more happiness, just more stuff.  Most rich countries far exceed that per capita income.  The Spirit Level primarily shows that many improved social measures are correlated with more equality.  They make a good case that more equality causes these social improvements, but as always causality is more difficult to prove than correlation.

In this blog post, I am focusing on income and wealth distribution.   [Read more…]

{ Comment | Email This | Digg This | Del.icio.us | Stumble It | Tweet This }

Gates Foundation’s rose-colored world view not supported by evidence

by Martin Kirk and Jason Hickel on 25th April 2017

This article was originally published by Humanosphere and is reposted with permission from the authors The annual public letter from Bill and Melinda Gates has become a much-celebrated event in the global development calendar. But lost in the excitement around this year’s letter is the fact that it uses 6,000 words to paint a picture […]

Read the full article →

Trump, Sanders, and the Collapse of the American Oligarchy

by Sally Goerner on 19th November 2016

This article was originally published by Capital Institute  “The collapse of urban cultures is an event much more frequent than most observers realize. Often, collapse is well underway before societal elites become aware of it, leading to scenes of leaders responding retroactively and ineffectively as their society collapses around them.” – Sander Vander Leeuw, Archaeologist, […]

Read the full article →

Egalitarian alternative to the US mainstream: Study of Acorn community in Virginia, US

by Katarzyna Gajewska on 11th October 2016

This article was originally published on Bronislaw Magazine, under a Creative Commons License.  Acorn community is composed of 30 adults running an enterprise and sharing land and income. This essay describes the personal experience of living in this commune that wants to change the basic tenets of capitalist economic system and work organization. “Relationship represents […]

Read the full article →

Happier People, Healthier Planet

by Teresa Belton on 20th September 2016

This is a guest post by Teresa Belton, originally published by Action for Happiness It was a beautiful day and I was enjoying riding my bike along a quiet cycle track, with trees and hedges on either side and birds singing. Suddenly, a thought came to me: most of the things that really make us […]

Read the full article →

The global refugee crisis: humanity’s last call for a culture of sharing and cooperation

by Rajesh Makwana on 24th March 2016

The real crisis is not the influx of refugees to Europe per se but a toxic combination of destabilising foreign policy agendas, economic austerity and the rise of right-wing nationalism, which is likely to push the world further into social and political chaos in the months ahead.

Read the full article →

What Does the New Economy Look Like? Here’s What Our Artists Did With Your Ideas

by Kate Aronoff on 8th February 2016

Pictures of windmills and farmers markets are great, but they don’t capture the diversity and radicalism of the new economy movement. Here are a couple of artists’ visualisations of the movement, based on reader’s ideas submitted to YES! Magazine. The results are beautiful.

Read the full article →

A new era of global protest begins

by Rajesh Makwana on 16th January 2016

The last few years have seen a growing wave of protest, civil dissent and activism all over the world – could this be the stirrings of a new democracy?

Read the full article →

Post-Growth for the Climate

by Tegan Tallullah on 17th November 2015

Post-growth is about meeting humanity’s needs in a way that achieves high wellbeing for all while respecting the limits of our bountiful yet finite planet. There are so many reasons why the transition to a post-growth world is necessary and desirable. But the reason that really lends it a sense of urgency is the climate […]

Read the full article →