family planning,fertility,overpopulation,population growth,sustainability
economic growth,economy,gdp,limits to growth,prosperity,sustainability
Robert Samuelson got it half-right in his syndicated Washington Post column last week:
Let Us Praise GDP
His concern is with the desire of some GDP critics to change the way GDP (gross domestic product) is calculated. Since everlasting growth of GDP is our Holy Grail, I expect every reader knows that GDP is a measure of economic activity, or “throughput.”
There are several good reasons to laud Clifford Cobb, Ted Halstead, Jonathan Rowe and The Atlantic magazine for this piece:
If the GDP Is Up, Why Is America Down?
By most measures the U.S. economy is quite healthy. We seem to have recovered quite nicely from the Great Recession which began in 2008. Unemployment down, the longest period of sustained job growth on record, stock market up. GDP in positive growth territory. Yet in this presidential election year, GOP candidates are promising to fix the “terrible” economy over which current U.S. President (D) Barack Obama presides. Even Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is promising to right problems with this economy. “…something is profoundly wrong,” he has stated.
climate change,economic growth,gdp,gdp growth
Economic growth is, of course, our modern culture’s Holy Grail. We’re not willing to sacrifice economic growth for any reason, not even the salvation of human civilization. We insist, therefore, that any plan to reduce carbon emissions cannot take a chunk out of GDP growth.
Today’s nominee to the Wall of Fame doesn’t necessarily call that obsession with economic growth out for its suicidal tendencies, but it does do a great job of busting one of the myths about economic growth that some of its apologists love to promote.
economic growth,economy,limits to growth,overshoot,politics
Compliments are in order for New York Times financial columnist (and CNBC host) Andrew Ross Sorkin for an in-depth and thoughtful economic piece in the Times’ Sunday Magazine:
President Obama Weighs His Economic Legacy
Note, however, that this is on the Wall of Shame, rather than Fame. That’s because of a fatal flaw in the assumptions underlying what is otherwise a great piece of reporting. It’s clear throughout that both Sorkin and President Obama are stuck in the 20th century. Those were heady times, when the world was our oyster. It seemed we could grow forever; we’d not yet stretched our economic rubber band so far past limits to growth that it would clearly break, or snap back with such ferocity as to be extraordinarily painful.