Tuesday, September 13, 2011

End of the growth paradigm

Last night I decided to torture myself with the Republican presidential debate. I don’t know if it’s because I am a glutton for punishment, a closet masochist of sorts, or if it’s because I want to know what’s coming down the pike.

I noticed, that to a man (and a solitary woman as well), all the candidates proposed ideas on re-ramping economic growth. None acknowledge the restraints that diminishing natural resources and the ecological effects of continuing growth have on the planet or our economic system.

In this interview, Chilean economist Manfred Max Neef ascertains that growth and development are not necessarily one and the same, presenting the analogy of a child that grows to a certain age and then stops growing.

Does the fact that the child is no longer growing mean that person cannot continue to learn and develop? Of course not.

We need candidates that understand that the infinite growth model cannot and will not survive a finite planet. We need not grow to further develop our societies and our economies.

To date we have exactly none among our presidential hopefuls (including Mr. Obama) that acknowledge this relatively simple equation.

PS. I know that Democracynow and Amy Goodman are left-leaning apologists, quick to criticize Republicans and somewhat blind to the ills of their own, so spare the criticism for linking to an episode of their show.

Truth is truth, wherever you may find it.

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