An Alternative To De-Growth Pessimism

Recently more than 200 academics published an open letter in support of the demands for an economic system that abandons growth as its central objective, writes Francine Mestrum  from Global Social Justice. In the European Parliament a major conference was organized on ‘post-growth’ and the European Trade Union Confederation held a ‘post-conference’ on the same topic.

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Economic growth, sustainability and degrowth

Photo: John Perivolaris – After Monet – near Giverny

It has become standard in modern society to expect that each year will see us consume more resources than the last. Since the 1940s the consumption of each nation on earth has been measured, and termed GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, writes Andrea Grainger. Not only is growth assumed in modern society, but also rapid growth. In Britain many economists say that an annual GDP growth of around 3% is ‘good’, 2% is ‘poor’ and 1% is ‘dreadful’. In effect an annual growth rate of 3% means doubling our rate of consumption every 23 years, so that by 2041 we will be consuming twice what we do today, by 2064 four times as much, and by 2087 eight times more.

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