James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Greens and living standards

June 10, 2009

My pal Nick Schulz comments on the political divisions between Christian Greens and Secular Greens. This bit really caught my eye:

For example, while secular greens and Christian greens both want prudent stewardship of the environment …  they will likely part ways on issues such as the importance of economic and population growth. … Benjamin Friedman and others such as Deidre McCloskey have argued persuasively that there are profound moral consequences to economic growth and that stagnation is hazardous to the moral health of a nation. This understandably prompts Christian greens to place more value on economic growth than secular greens, leading to differing views on regulation and other curbs on the free market. … And secular greens have never much cared for the injunction to “be fruitful and multiply” at least if the zero- andnegative-population-growth crowds are any indicator.

Me: This is a key political division. Should standards of living continue be raised in the US and the West, at least in material terms? A big thrust of current policymaking here would seem to say “No.”

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