1694.growth, take it straight on.

Pro 34 growth let’s take it straight on. Economists insist that growth is the measure of health.

Economists almost all (George Manbiot an exception, but there are others) just say growth. You know the examples, but here this morning.

The economist Greg Mankiw had an essay in the NY

http://jaredbernsteinblog.com/do-economists-understand-economies/

But we also have Lagarde Quoted in the FT.

“All in all, our assessment is that, if left unchecked, these four forces … will corrode the underpinnings of growth (both potential and actual) and hold back gains in US living standards,” she said in prepared remarks. ”

(https://next.ft.com/content/ab4d28c4-3872-11e6-a780-b48ed7b6126f?desktop=true)

But note
Living standards? Of whom?

So why is growth considered so important. Historical reasons might be armies, workers and consumers. And symbolically growth is a sign of vitality.

But it also might be hubris, irrational overreach, dangerous to all concerned. The difference between growth and cancer is unexplored in economic equivalent.

Growth now is so anxiously held onto because of three reasons.

.1. Pay interest on current and future debt (all borrowing based on the idea that the interest can be paid by the increase between now and then. It is already factored in. Factoring it out will be difficult).

2. In the nation-state system, growth = heft.

3. The careers of so many have become aligned with growth. Any form of brokerage, depends on income from creating debt.

We need to rethink this. Human population (New figures say heading to 9 billion with increasing migrations), climate over-burdened 400 ppm now, and destabilizations leading to wars.

Can we get “growth” on the agenda? Not just to mindlessly say “stop” but to think and rethink, this fundamental aspect of humanity and managing the human species on the globe.

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