Economic growth is, according to Gordon Brown, “the government’s number one priority”, and no effort or expense is being spared lifting the country out of recession and getting it back onto the upward growth trend. Growth is vital to protecting jobs and livelihoods. Unfortunately, growth is also completely unsustainable, driving us towards greater debt, increasing social fragmentation, and the danger of environmental meltdown.
We can’t live with growth, and we can’t live without it, and so great is this paradox that most politicians will not even discuss it. It is a glaring blindspot at the heart of our economic system. At the moment the ‘post-growth’ debate is fairly marginalised, although there are more people working on it than you might expect. It’s time we got it out into the open, started confronting politicians with the problem. All stimulus packages are only temporary, all climate change agreements are doomed to failure, unless limits to growth are included and respected.
As my contribution, I’ve written up the problem in simple terms, and put it all on a website at www.beyondgrowth.co.uk