“The world is not a static thing, we all know it grows and contracts as the flow of life meanders”.

The media hologram shows countries in recession or achieving positive growth, depending on how the data has been massaged. Consumer confidence is often closely related to the particular position of any given state. As a result all governments claim their economies will return to positive growth in the “near” future. None would dare state that in fact the economies of the world have over extended themselves and the debt fueled growth of past decades will never been seen again, despite the likelihood of this as a stark reality of our future due to debt, Peak Oil and over population.

This September/October is setting up to be a very interesting period for the worlds economy.

Meanwhile, we should take faith from the fact that in the real world growth of some kind or other can always exist, even in the most improbable places…



Economic growth can either be positive or negative. Negative growth can also be referred to by saying that the economy is shrinking. Negative growth is associated with economic recession and economic depression.

Five major critical arguments raised against economic growth include:

  1. Growth has negative effects on the quality of life such as crime, prisons, or pollution.
  2. Many aspects of economic growth that affect the quality of life, such as the environment are not traded or accounted in the market.
  3. Growth encourages the creation of artificial needs: Industry cause consumers to develop new tastes, and preferences for growth to occur. Consequently, “wants are created, and consumers have become the servants, instead of the masters, of the economy.”
  4. Resources: The 2007 United Nations GEO-4 report warns that we are living far beyond our means. The human population is now larger and that the amount of resources it consumes takes up a lot of those resources available. Humanity’s environmental demand is purported to be 21.9 hectares per person while the Earth’s biological capacity is purported to be 15.7 ha/person.
  5. Distribution of income: The gap between the poorest and richest countries in the world has been growing. Although mean and median wealth has increased globally, it adds to the inequality of wealth.

Some critics argue that a narrow view of economic growth, combined with globalization, is creating a scenario where we could see a systemic collapse of our planet’s natural resources. Other critics draw on archaeology to cite examples of cultures they claim have disappeared because they grew beyond the ability of their ecosystems to support them. Concerns about possible negative effects of growth on the environment and society led some to advocate lower levels of growth, from which comes the ideas of uneconomic growth and de-growth, and Green parties which argue that economies are part of a global society and a global ecology and cannot outstrip their natural growth without damaging them.

Growth refers to an increase in some quantity over time. The quantity can be physical (e.g., growth in height, growth in an amount of money) or abstract (e.g., a system becoming more complex, an organism becoming more mature). It can also refer to the mode of growth, i.e. numeric models for describing how much a particular quantity grows over time.

Economic growth is an increase in activity in an economy. It is often measured as the rate of change of gross domestic product (GDP). Economic growth refers only to the quantity of goods and services produced; it says nothing about the way in which they are produced. Economic development, a related term, refers to change in the way goods and services are produced; positive economic development involves the introduction of more efficient or “productive” technologies or forms of social organisation.


  1. HH 8 years ago

    ….is that from the “hippy handbook”?!

  2. p 8 years ago

    sounds like its from the book of common sense which of course isnt so common anymore.

  3. HH 8 years ago

    Without growth we’d be living in the Stone Age….not saying that is a bad thing but I quite like a world of movies, cars, planes, technology, easy food, skis and mobile phones! None of which would be available if it weren’t for economic growth. Common sense really ;)

  4. ptsp 8 years ago

    I think you missed the point Henry. If we are consuming more of the planet than is being replenished, growth in the way of the past IS NO LONGER a good thing. It also not a good basis for judging wellbeing, as it doesnt take into account many important factors. Exponential growth on a finite planet is bad news and is obviously not sustainable. We are effectively turning non renewable resources into toxic waste as fast as possible.

  5. HH 8 years ago

    I think you missed the tongue in cheek tone of my post.

    • ptsp 8 years ago

      Ahha, that I did.

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