- Jay Chatterjee
- Sun Prairie, WI
- United States
Freelance Writer & Researcher
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Why should we not adopt or promote steady-state economy and de-growth model of development for our countries and corporate houses?
China maintained ~ 10% growth rate for last three decades which increased its per capita GDP to ~ $ 4000 (while that for US is ~ $ 43,000) after increasing social instability & polluting its environment. Lately, more precisely after recent financial turmoil, China type unsustainable growth model is criticized, even in China, for countries like China (that include BRICS countries). None of those “developing” countries are anywhere near the "desired" living standard that people in very few affluent, first world countries enjoy. We can easily understand the consequences if other under-developed countries (home of majority of world population) try to achieve the same "growth based" economic prosperity. It is believed that current world population needs about 1.2 worlds to sustain it, with high discrimination in quality of living and wealth distribution.
A couple of feasible alternative models are proposed that recognize ecological limits of human development and emphasize social equality. 1) STEADY-STATE ECONOMY: one that has stopped growing in terms of GDP, but continues to improve quality of life and is maintained by an ecologically sustainable rate of resource throughput and a constant human population. 2) Sustainable DE-GROWTH MODEL: defined as “an equitable down-scaling of production and consumption that increases human well-being and enhances ecological conditions at the local and global level, in the short and long term”.
It seems that progress without economic growth is possible. It has been shown repeatedly that higher GDP does not correlate with either poverty reduction or happiness above a certain level. It seems that earning more than a threshold level does not translate into increasing overall happiness & satisfaction, while may have negative impact on quality of life.
I think we should adopt or promote such steady-state economy and/or de-growth model of development for our societies & all corporate houses that have major global presence or impact.