Saturday 19 February 2011

Prosperity Without Growth

Anyone would think the economy is paramount in our society. Just listen to most politicians. Were they were elected to office by the economy? One would think so, as they do everything for the economy--it's their master and they its servants.

It is time we saw the economy for what it really is, and treat it accordingly.

I like to use a metaphor of the human body when explaining how the economy should work:
  1. The role of the economic system in society should be much like the role of the cardio-vascular system in our body—i.e. vitally important to the health of the whole organism.
  2. However, just as humans don’t exist to serve their cardio-vascular system, nor should society exist to serve the economic system—i.e. “we live in a society, not an economy”.
  3. And, just as individuals strive to have a healthy body (which includes having a healthy cardio-vascular system) so they can do what they want in life, so too should society look at their economic system as a means to enable it to do what it wants.
  4. It’s what we do or accomplish as an individual or a society that matters—no one is remembered for having a healthy-cardio vascular system! They are remembered for what they contributed to society. Thus vision, values and mission are paramount—having healthy internal systems merely enables these to be realised more easily.
As described in the following video, we need to restructure the economy to be non-numeric-growth. The key concept is to create an economy which enables “prosperity without growth”.

If we continue to have our economy dependant on continual growth then, "For how long will we have a planet which can sustain life?"