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Prosperity without growth: a contradiction in terms

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Prosperity without growth: a contradiction in terms?

For two centuries, life expectancy has surged, the food supply has easily outstripped a rising population and science has advanced tremendously.  But are the costs of growth beginning to outweigh the benefits?  Critics point to rising inequality, and insist people are becoming no happier, while mental illness and obesity are rife.  In this fascinating head-to-head, economics journalist and author Daniel Ben-Ami argues with professor of sustainable development, Tim Jackson against a culture of limits. To tackle poverty he explains, we need more growth not less.  We are living longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives than ever before – including billions of people in the poorer countries and economic progress has provided huge benefits for humanity.

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Related topics: Debates, Economy, International

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Sieben Milliarden Gründe zum Feiern - danielbenami.com said:

[…] mean that we have to make do with what we have got (you can watch a video of me debating him here (in […]

Vanessa said:

That economic discussion, whether a better future for us all without growth is possible, is very complicated somehow I think both speakers are right. Actually I don’t understand why we shouldn’t do both, savings where it is necessary and we have no other option, and at the same time try to develop new technologies to solve problems like environmental pollution, sustainable energy sources and so on. Of course does the third world have the right to develop further on, so as every country has the right and the need to raise there living standards. I don’t think that we can expect someone to renounce on further development. And I also don’t see the problem in that, because as I understand it, rising living standards and development are not necessarily related with growth in the sense of, getting just more and more money without any regards.

Rachel said:

I do not aftee with Tims argument that we should limit growth. While it is true that many of us are much better off than the generations before us, this is not the case for all people. Some people continue to be plagued with disease & poverty. These things are still present in much of the world and if growth is stopped they will remain. The expansive growth we have expirience in the last century has led to a lot of prosperity but one can only imagine how much more prosperous we could all be with the continuation of that growth.

Lluisa V said:

It is a natural feature of the human beings to be ambitious. Nowadays we live longer and have better quality of life; we grow up and prosper because we always want more and better things. Without that our life will have not sense. However is necessary to reduce consumption of energy, resources and material things, as well as improve our technology to make this cleaner and friendly with the environment. Obviously we have to help the third world to grow, everybody have the right of benefits of that, but we can’t wait for them to continued growing ourselves.