Skip to main content
Growth_AlJazeera.png

Growth for Growth's Sake Will Kill Us All

Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz discusses the contradiction between unending economic growth and ecological sustainability.

One economic fact is held to be self-evident: that the future well-being of the United States requires economic growth — preferably, as much of it as we can muster. Despite wildly divergent policy recommendations, this basic assumption is made clear and explicit by everyone from the fiscally conservative Club for Growth to the left-leaning Center for American Progress. In the boardroom of the Federal Reserve, at the negotiating table for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and on the shale fields of North Dakota, our national economic policy is built on the unshakable conviction that the only way to grow the middle class is to grow the economy — by any means necessary.

Aside from the fact that the top 1 percent has taken most of the gains of growth, leaving the rest of society in virtual stalemate for three decades, there is a profound problem with this solution. Indeed, it’s time to face an ecological truth that makes the traditional assumption increasingly untenable, as unpopular and difficult as this conclusion might be: Growth isn’t always possible. Nor is it necessarily desirable.

Read more in Al Jazeera America.

Publication date: 2014-04-10
Parent publication: Al Jazeera America
Publication URL: http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/4/economic-growth-climatechangeinequalityneweconomy.html
Download and read now:

More related work

July 7, 2020
The role of regional cooperative banks

The role of regional cooperative banks in community wealth building

An important shift brought about by the community wealth building movement is towards regionalizing and localizing financial flows and keeping money in communities through initiatives such as local currencies and community banks. This is now rapidly catching on in the UK.

read more
July 7, 2020
Default Image

Building the democratic economy, from Preston to Cleveland

In June 2018 The Laura Flanders Show released a special report, “Building the Democratic Economy, from Preston to Cleveland ,” co-produced with The Democracy Collaborative. The documentary features the exciting trajectory of a new model of inclusive, democratic local economic development in what had

read more
July 7, 2020
The Preston model

The Preston model: An overview

The “Preston Model” is helping inspire a new conversation about the role of local government in catalyzing locally-driven economic revitalization and transforming patterns of ownership towards democratic alternatives.

read more