Date published : October 8, 2009 - St-Édouard, Quebec
“It is time to rethink the old idea that the solution to all our problems lies in the incessant expansion of the economy,” says Canadian economist Peter Victor, speaking for a growing global movement that’s been exploring the notion of “prosperity without growth.”
That’s the title of a 2009 report by Tim Jackson, the Economics Commissioner for the UK government’s Sustainable Development Commission. According to Jackson, our obsession with growth is “totally at odds with our scientific knowledge of the finite resource base and the fragile ecology on which we depend for survival.”
Yet economic growth remains the primary objective for both government and business, and conventional economic yardsticks like GDP are focussed narrowly on the degree to which economies expand or shrink. As traditional many economists see it ? you’re either getting bigger or you’re failing.
But there’s nothing like a monster global meltdown to upset old conventions and spark fresh thinking on what constitutes healthy economic activity.
“Questioning growth is deemed to be the act of lunatics, idealists and revolutionaries,” says Jackson. “But question it we must.”
Prosperity, he argues, is not simply about what we own and accumulate ? it’s about how we live together. “The possibility that humans can flourish and at the same time consume less is an intriguing one. It would be foolish to think that it is easy to achieve. But it should not be given up lightly. It offers the best prospect we have for a lasting prosperity.”
Could it be that the Gimenez family ? happy in their slow-n’-steady approach to farming ? are riding the economic wave of the future? See our blog to download Prosperity with Growth.
Peter Victor quotes: http://www.culturechange.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=453&Itemid=64
Prosperity without Growth, Report by Tim Jackson
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