Comments on: Must we always try to grow the economy? http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope/2011/06/07/must-we-always-try-to-grow-the-economy/ Shining a light on the dismal science Wed, 16 Nov 2016 01:39:19 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: DavidMerkel http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope/2011/06/07/must-we-always-try-to-grow-the-economy/comment-page-1/#comment-2273 Sat, 09 Jul 2011 05:46:20 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope/?p=4817#comment-2273 Resources are not all that is involved in growth. The idea is more “how do we meet more and deeper human needs?” That doesn’t always involve more resources.

Many kvetch over how we aren’t making as much in our economy — we have more and more of an economy based on services. That’s as it should be. Meeting material needs is relatively easy, but making life meaningful, or at least fun, is more challenging, and more ingenuity gets thrown at it, and not more resources.

The economy can grow on a resource-light basis if the services delivered make life more pleasant and productive. Largely, that has been the case.

That doesn’t mean that GDP is the right measure for progress — most of the alternatives are worse, but my measure would be increase in net wealth plus consumption. That would avoid the fallacy of GDP growth showing progress as the economy rebuilds from Katrina, Tohoku, etc., or the fallacy that our economy is growing when the government borrows money to stimulate the economy. Net wealth plus consumption does not grow from that.

Finally, we need to adjust for externalities like pollution, lousy public schools, etc. Where a dollar spent does not yield a dollar of long-term value, the value should be discounted, the same was that China’s ghost cities should not be counted at all in GDP statistics (but they are counted at full cost).

Growth is good, and generally, more growth is better if it is measured fairly. It means that society can do more to meet human needs.

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By: AltonBob http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope/2011/06/07/must-we-always-try-to-grow-the-economy/comment-page-1/#comment-2253 Thu, 09 Jun 2011 02:39:57 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope/?p=4817#comment-2253 The idea of endless growth has a significant flaw: it presumes endless resources. To have markets always growing assumes an ever-expanding population, and we’re all becoming increasingly aware that our planet is demonstrating limits. Food and water supplies are already at crisis stage in some places; energy usage is altering the environment and looks to be harming food supplies; the oil economy is not seen as being viable within 40-50 years. Can these issues be ignored? No. Can they be circumvented? The crystal ball is unclear on that one. It would be prudent to think up an alternative paradigm that does not rely on GDP increases each and every quarter.

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By: mheld45 http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope/2011/06/07/must-we-always-try-to-grow-the-economy/comment-page-1/#comment-2252 Thu, 09 Jun 2011 02:18:09 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope/?p=4817#comment-2252 Only middle class or wealthy people can afford to question the need for growth. Anyone desiring to improve their life or the lives of their family members will not be amused. Secondly, unless you’re going to convince 1 billion Chinese people to embrace economic stagnation, giving up on growth is a sure way to imperil our long-term security situation.

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By: ThinkSmarter http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope/2011/06/07/must-we-always-try-to-grow-the-economy/comment-page-1/#comment-2250 Wed, 08 Jun 2011 22:29:58 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope/?p=4817#comment-2250 Wrong assumptions. Economic growth, equity, and ecology are not mutually exclusive of one another. We need to redesign the way we do business. Full product life cycle analysis, accountability, and transparency. Tax stupidly designed and harmful unsustainable products and subsidize smart ones. Government policies are the mechanical bunny that the economy must chase. Make stupid economic designs reflect their true costs that are currently born by American citizens in health costs, pollution costs, and costs to future generations. This requires innovation and capital investment, but innovation creates companies, employs people, squashes inefficiencies in the status quo, and reduces costs in the long run! Don’t bail out Wall Street, put that money in the hands of start-ups!

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By: indyclub http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope/2011/06/07/must-we-always-try-to-grow-the-economy/comment-page-1/#comment-2248 Wed, 08 Jun 2011 20:02:02 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope/?p=4817#comment-2248 i agree with your points about competition. Among companies between similar service or product line there is a natural and inevitable consequence of growth in the form of assets, dollars, or event debt in one or the other. The two cannot grow together at the same time. It’s stark that you remind the reader that income growth is just as necessary as corporate growth. Income growth of the employee should climb relative to corporate growth; that would appease many economic dynamics and reduce disparity gaps between wealth classes. This article stimulates thought..Thanks

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By: CASSE http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope/2011/06/07/must-we-always-try-to-grow-the-economy/comment-page-1/#comment-2247 Wed, 08 Jun 2011 12:26:51 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope/?p=4817#comment-2247 Good to hear about another book calling economic growth into question. Support for the steady state economy as a societal and policy goal is burgeoning. Readers can join thousands of others, including many top scholars and other dignitaries, by signing the CASSE position on economic growth at:

http://steadystate.org/sign-the-position  /

Brian Czech, President
Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy

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