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« Volume Voodoo: Relative Volumes of the Gulf of Mexico and Dispersant | Main | Paper: Global Water Shortage in 2030 = Excellent Business Opportunities »

Friday, 06 August 2010


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I wonder if Mill cited any historical examples where the end of growth led to a stationary state. Seems like it usually leads to (or results from) collapse and/or revolution.

It's encouraging to see thinkers trying to work out what a steady-state economy would look like. With economists and financiers talking about "the new normal" and various other gloomy forecasts, it seems we may have unwillingly entered a prolonged period of nongrowth. If we can adapt to that - if it indeed becomes "normal" - perhaps there is a chance for a soft landing and a (relatively) steady-state economy. That would be a remarkable achievement, given the unanimous adherence of global political leadership to the growth paradigm.


In the last ten years whenever I see or hear the word ... growth ... I feel a bit like the character Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) in the movie ... The Exorcist ... seeing my head spinning around in manner similar to her movie character.

Growth ... is one of those words we allow the journalist/“spinmasters” to utilize in whatever manner they choose, pro or con, without definition.

I wonder how many prior to Malthus thought about any of the implications associated with unrestricted procreation. Doubtless there were some whose names and ideas have escaped historical notice.

It certainly appears from the evidence thus far made available to us that procreation/growth has been indelibly inserted into mankind’s DNA irrespective of his place of origin, color of skin or presumed “station” in life in the society into which he/she was born.

Loosing this ability to procreate would be, I believe, akin to “phantom” pain felt by those who have had a limb amputated or severed as a result of an accident or incident of war.

Contemporary Americans do not have any formal training or education in critical thinking/evaluation especially over the past 50 years as our political leaders and policy makers have chosen to produce an American populous educated and trained to unabashedly serve “royalty” ... the true owners of the “military-industrial-congressional-corporate-complex” ... that 5% of our citizenry which controls more than 90% of our nation’s wealth thereby amassing and exercising an inordinate degree of power utilized to increase their wealth while decreasing our$.

Unrestricted ... growth ... is mandatory in an economy such as contemporary America where the prevailing mantra is ... “greed is good” ... without growth American corporate-interest$ would be competing for an increased share in collapsing markets, not the classic picture of prosperity one gets at the Harvard/Stanford type business schools.

Markets, prosperity, growth are inexorably linked in our prevailing business paradigm altering this just a little bit causes upheavals with potentially devastating consequence$.

Like it or not ... the spectrum of the tuning fork to which we resonate has been quite successfully injected and now resonates with just the slightest nudge from those hand “ping” these forks.

The implications of ... growth ... require and demand thoughtful, critical, serious, decisive measured, contemplative, reflective and introspective consideration. In contemporary America “we” do not choose to allow or permit space for such consideration to occur.

Moreover those manipulating the turning forks are careful not to allow the necessary “quiet-space-down-time” for such consideration to occur.

But here’s the kicker ... even when “quiet-space-down-time” is allowed, most Americans FREAK-OUT as alone time and/or silence is not part of our prevailing environment. Being unaccustomed we willingly allow ourselves to be manipulated to receive whatever the prevailing tuning-fork currently resonates and gleefully follow this ‘pied-piper’ ...

So until “we” individually and collectively have a change of heart and choose to think for ourselves and critically ... unrestricted growth ... will remain a mantra we willingly follow.

David Zetland

1) Growth is not necessary for prosperity:

2) GDP measures of growth/output are useless

3) It's not good for us:

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