More attacks on GDP and growth

In: Uncategorized

24 Sep 2009

Evidently the debate on GDP goes even further than I assumed. I was sent a message by Alexander Dill of the Global Commons Index in Basel who runs the whatiseconomy.com website. He pointed to an August 2009 report by the European Commission on GDP and Beyond. Dill has himself written a paper on Wealth Beyound GDP. Meanwhile, Der Spiegel, a German weekly newsmagazine, has run on article on what it calls “the cult of GDP”.

New Scientist is even more direct in its attack on economic growth in a comment on “the real problem with overpopulation”. It favours what it calls “demographic sustainability”:

“This is all about creating both environmental and economic sustainability with a falling, ageing population. It involves fine-tuning fertility to keep populations level or in slow decline. Critically, it also means basing success on stability – recognising that economic growth at all costs, not population growth, is the real root of all evil.”

So for New Scientist not only is growth unwelcome but it is explicitly cast as evil. It is a particularly sad way for a science magazine to look at the world.

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