Economic growth and uneconomic growth

The latest issue of Adbusters magazine is about ‘thought control’ in the field of economics. It includes an interview with Herman Daly, the godfather of the steady state, who explains the point at which growth becomes uneconomic:

“the economy is a subsystem of the finite biosphere that supports it. When the economy’s expansion encroaches too much on its surrounding ecosystem, we will begin to sacrifice natural capital (such as fish, minerals and fossil fuels) that is worth more than the manufactured capital (such as roads, factories and appliances) added by the growth. We will then have what I call uneconomic growth, producing “bads” faster than goods – making us poorer, not richer. Once we pass the optimal scale, growth becomes stupid in the short run and impossible to maintain in the long run.”

The issue also includes Tim Jackson’s introduction from the ‘Prosperity Without Growth‘ report.

    3 Comments on “Economic growth and uneconomic growth”

    1. Joshua August 10, 2009 at 4:59 pm #

      This entire magazine is great! I read it cover to cover and would suggest everyone pick it up. Adbusters was giving away free magazines to economics students for a while, not sure if they still are, but it would be worth checking out if you know anyone studying it.

    Trackbacks/Pingbacks

    1. Uneconomic Growth - August 9, 2009

      […] It is a key term in ecological economics and Daly has given us numerous works on the subject. What is uneconomic growth? It is closely related to the optimal or sustainable scale of our […]

    2. The Limits of Efficiency - April 21, 2010

      […] obviously still growing as an economy. Well, sure we are, but this is actually uneconomic growth, false growth, and debt-driven growth. All that debt is expanding while our natural resources do not – […]

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