Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Economic Growth is Not a Fundamental Physical Law

July 25th, 2013 by G.

We live in the Age of Entitlement. But the biggest entitlement is neither a government program nor an affect instilled by too many self-esteem programs. The biggest entitlement is the expectation of perpetual economic growth.

Comments (9)
Filed under: We transcend your bourgeois categories | Tags: , , ,
July 25th, 2013 14:32:11
9 comments

Mike Fink
July 25, 2013

And who sent you the link, buddy? That’s right, I did. Nobody brings the doomsaying like Mike Fink. I lather up with Peak Oil and shave with the Sword of Damocles.


Vader
July 25, 2013

‘Brynjolfsson had the aspirational TED inflection down cold: “Technology is not destiny,” he said. “We shape our destiny.” ‘

I find that remarkably cold comfort.


Agellius
July 26, 2013

I’m not sure whether to worry about it or not. If all he’s saying is that my kids won’t be twice as well off as I, I can live with that. Or is he saying our kids and grandkids will be worse off?


Zen
July 26, 2013

I don’t buy it. If there is a decline, it is the wickedness of the world that dims our minds and dulls our inspiration. The fault lies not in our starts, or our tech, but in ourselves.

I have never had much patience for the doomsaying of Malthius.

Will the wealth be distributed or concentrated? On a national level, our prosperity is reflective of our righteousness, so that is a cause for worry.

But it also has a lot to do with who has kids. It would be a delicious irony for Christianity to become more and more hated and persecuted, while simultaneously becoming richer than the world.


Bookslinger
July 26, 2013

Zen, perhaps you’re conflating a generalized societal decline with economic decline.

My understanding is that capitalism pretty much requires corrective cycles.


Bookslinger
July 26, 2013

Upon further reflection, it may be more illustrative to say that free markets require corrective cycles. Though I think capitalism and free markets go hand in hand.


Adam G.
July 26, 2013

Zen,
I’m agnostic on his specific thesis. But on the general idea that wealth isn’t just something that happens and that we can squelch on it, we’re on the same page.

Agellius,
the problem is that many of our social institutions and even basic cultural assumptions are predicated on the assumption of continued growth. If growth stops, yeah, we could be fine if everybody were mature about it and tried for a sensible and managed transition. But they won’t be.


Vader
July 27, 2013

We accept a certain amount of income inequality because the promise of future growth is a promise that the have-nots will, in the end, enjoy some of what they see the haves enjoying now.

An end to growth will exacerbate social tension over inequality as the fight for a bigger slice of the pie starts to be more than a Democratic Party propaganda point.


Bookslinger
July 27, 2013

Makes me ponder how the United Order will be practiced among church members in the Millennium.

Can the Lord literally rule among the saints, physically in person that is, if his subjects are not practicing the United Order?

And since we’re told that there will be non-members alive during the Millennium, I wonder how they will fit in or relate to the United Order if the United Order is in effect among members.

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