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.
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.