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Growth

20131215 (2013 December 15 Sunday)

First let us assuming (for now) that growth is possible, and it has no limits in a finite world, and that it is desirable. We will do this because my argument does not depend on it and for now it will make things simpler.

If the economy was a car, then GDP (Gross Domestic Product) would be a measure of how much petrol(gas) it uses, and not how fast it goes, how much it can carry, or what it looks like, or the quality of the sound system. We may not all agree on which of these is the most important, but who of us thinks that the most important measure of a car is the speed at which in empties the tank, that future cars need to grow in the fuel using ability. Like wise we need a better measure of the economy.

So we need to ask what sort of growth should we have, and how do we achieve it.

Here are some things worth growing in:

  • Better efficiency in production and other work.
  • Making things that last, even if they cost more.
  • Make devices that don’t over consume.
  • Make devices that produce renewable energy.
  • Make things that are repairable.

If it is worth doing, it is worth doing forever, and for everyone. Therefore it must be sustainable. By sustainable I just mean we do it in a way that makes the first sentence in this paragraph true. Note: I did not say always, just forever.

Give a person a fish, then they have a fish. Teach them to fish, then they will sell all the fish (no more fish). We need to insist that we like fish, we want to eat fish until we are old. If this means not eating fish as often, then ok. Just make sure there are plenty more fish in the sea.

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