Zero growth- are we in a new era?

economics wordleAre we entering a new era of zero growth with another global crash and slump?  Yesterday David Cameron just back from the G20 summit warned of another global crash.  Whilst this maybe domestic politicking there is some evidence to suggest he could be right.  China has slowed down,  Brazil has slowed down, the Euro zone just avoided recession, Japan is in one and there is political and economic uncertainty with Russia’s activities in the Ukraine and with Ebola.  Add into this mix going forward energy insecurity and climate change and I have been wondering once again whether conventional economic growth is over and we should get used to zero growth?  There is a built in assumption in the global economic system that endless growth is possible. We wrote about this in our book.

…conventional economics with its expectation of continual economic growth seems to ignore the fact that humanity exists within a closed, finite system. Our way of life, our
expectations, our economic models are built on the presumption that the resources humanity draws on (such as energy) are unlimited – and that business as usual can continue ad infinitum“.

Many of us think its not possible (to me this seems quite logical). We briefly examined the work of Herman Daly the Christian economist who is one of the few to have faced up to what a zero growth economy would look like.  The answer is by design it would look very different, but it seems we are slipping into an era of zero growth not by design, but by accident.

Neil

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