Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prosperity without growth

Jeremy Lovell asks Can You Have Prosperity Without Growth? at the New York Times.


Min said...

Nick Rowe ( http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian_initi/2009/10/economic-growth-the-universe-and-the-meaning-of-life.html#more )
makes the following point:

"Stop thinking about GDP in terms of kilograms. It ain't kilograms; it's value. If an economy consists of people singing songs to each other, and every year the songs get more beautiful, that is an economy with GDP growth. The limit on growth is then human brains, not natural resources."

We do not need to plunder the planet to have economic growth. :)

Nick uses music as an example. I think that the modern music industry illustrates that we can have prosperity without growth. Is Bacharach better than Bach? Wagner was the first Western composer to make a living without patronage, and he barely scraped by. Randy Newman does quite well, thank you. ;)

Anonymous said...

A better question is can you have prosperity WITH growth. Both with reference to the ecology and with reference to material economic living standards.

The argument can be made that the answer is no...

Anonymous said...

I would think that the burden of proof on the above question rests with economists, considering the negative empirical data both in the area of environmental degradation and the stagnant living standards of ordinary Americans over the last 30 years.

But, who has the balls to demand an answer from them?