Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, April 20, 2017

The ideology of growth clearly has a firm grip on our society and beyond. This idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can't grow forever.

We used to live on a planet that was relatively empty of humans; today it is overflowing with more people consuming more resources. The population is set to hit 11 billion this century. Despite this, the richest nations still seek to grow their economies without apparent limit. We would need one and a half Earths to sustain the existing 7 billion people economy into the future.

Like a snake eating its own tail, our growth-orientated civilization suffers from the delusion that there are no environmental limits to growth. The only question is whether natural limits will be accommodated by design or disaster.

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The idea of the steady-state economy presents us with an alternative. This term is somewhat misleading, however, because it suggests that we simply need to maintain the size of the existing economy and stop seeking further growth.

Despite decades of extraordinary technological advancement and huge efficiency improvements, the energy and resource demands of the global economy are still increasing. This is because within a growth-orientated economy, efficiency gains tend to be reinvested in more consumption and more growth, rather than in reducing impact.

The poorest nations still need some room to develop their economies and allow the poorest billions to attain a dignified level of existence, the transition will require the richest nations to downscale radically their resource and energy demands.

Attempting to universalize affluence would be catastrophic. The very lifestyles that were once considered the definition of success are now proving to be our greatest failure. Tinkering around the edges of capitalism will not cut it. We need an alternative. But this does not mean we must live a life of painful sacrifice.

In a degrowth society we would aspire to localize our economies as far and as appropriately as possible. We would tend to reduce our working hours in the formal economy in exchange for more home-production and leisure. We would have less income, but more freedom. Human beings find creative projects fulfilling. Thus, in our simplicity, we would be rich.

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"We would have less income, but more freedom."

Great! We'd be free to be hungry and poor. Yay!
Stupid article that tries to make an untrue connection between growth and ecology. We can grow our economy and at the same time make it more environmentally good for the future, we actually are doing that and at a faster rate than most experts thought was even possible. When we reform industries like cattle we will see significant gains with little cost to our economy, possible even make it grow.
The dumbest article you ever posted Nutcase. Let's all be poor! Hilarious!

#1 | Posted by danni at 2017-04-20 09:50 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

--We can grow our economy and at the same time make it more environmentally good for the future,

Also believes in unicorns and pots of gold at the end of rainbows.

#2 | Posted by nullifidian at 2017-04-20 10:08 AM | Reply

Finite Danni.

#3 | Posted by Prolix247 at 2017-04-20 10:18 AM | Reply

"When we reform industries like cattle we will see significant gains with little cost to our economy, "

What do you mean "reform industries like cattle?"

#4 | Posted by eberly at 2017-04-20 10:19 AM | Reply

"Attempting to universalize affluence would be catastrophic. "

What would lead a person to believe that this is the goal of anyone?

Growth isn't about making everyone rich. Look at the actual numbers. Growth is currently about making the richest people on the planet slightly richer. They are the only ones gaining right now.

Growth is only important to the rest of us in that the 0.01% always want more. And when they can't get it through expansion they will get more by taking from us.

#5 | Posted by Sully at 2017-04-20 10:25 AM | Reply

No one is stopping anyone from de-growing. Have at it. Check out Mother Earth News for inspiration.

#6 | Posted by bored at 2017-04-20 10:31 AM | Reply

Hoard heirloom seeds and store rainwater. Bill Gates is out to kill us all.

#7 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-04-20 10:39 AM | Reply

#4 I think she's using it in the same way she would say "protest like cattle" or "receive free room and board until we're slaughtered like cattle".

#8 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-04-20 10:40 AM | Reply

--The dumbest article you ever posted Nutcase. Let's all be poor! Hilarious!

The smartest article you ever posted Nutcase. Let's prioritize spiritual growth over consumerism! Namaste!

#9 | Posted by nullifidian at 2017-04-20 10:43 AM | Reply

make it more environmentally good

Make
Environment
Good
Again!

#10 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2017-04-20 11:09 AM | Reply

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What the article fails to delve into is population control. 11 billion people will make life pretty miserable and tenuous for even wealthy Americans. Higher prices, more traffic congestion and pollution and lower wages. We should not accept this outcome.

A population control mandate is immoral and ineffective. But it is a demonstrated fact that well educated women have fewer children. Investment in women's education worldwide is the best path to a better quality of life for everyone, which requires no coercion. Its more important than free trade.

#11 | Posted by nutcase at 2017-04-20 03:03 PM | Reply

"11 billion people will make life pretty miserable and tenuous for even wealthy Americans."

No it won't.
It's the other 99% of Americans who are going to suffer.

"But it is a demonstrated fact that well educated women have fewer children."

Knowledge is power, as they say.

There's a reason the Church maintained a monopoly over literacy, and it's the same reason societies that harbor people like O'Reilly are so reluctant to embrace wonens rights, starting with a Boaz mindset where women are simply not equals. Why share power if you don't have to?

Now, it turns out there are plenty of reasons society benefits through sharing, but it a rare person in power who finds value in giving it up.

#12 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-04-20 03:17 PM | Reply

Yes, snoofy, the poor will suffer more, as they do today. Suffering and justice are dependent on wealth, but we all breath the same air. Unless you're rich enough to travel by helicopter or jet you're stuck in the same traffic. As the environment continues to degrade, everyone will experience a deterioration in the quality of their lives and costs will rise dramatically.

#13 | Posted by nutcase at 2017-04-21 10:41 AM | Reply

De-growth is just another word for Depression. It would by wise to learn how to garden and maybe a little animal husbandry. Maybe it would be wise to know someone in the sticks to go to live if SHTF. Being in a city or any urban area is deadly in some circumstances.

#14 | Posted by docnjo at 2017-04-21 04:18 PM | Reply

Ideologues and Anarchists are the first to say, "Yes, the poor will suffer more" but hey, it will be worth it!

Of course, the people who say this are usually not the ones who will suffer the most.

Some of the Purity Ponies on the Left said, "yeah, let Trump win, then America will swing back our way!".

Again, they are not the people who will suffer most under Trump. And the country won't recover from a stacked rwing SC for decades.

#15 | Posted by Corky at 2017-04-22 12:46 PM | Reply

We Could Enjoy a Degrowth Economy

I was fascinated by the idea as a fresh college kid and did too much personal study time on this topic. It is a cool idea for those who are ardent environmentalists, as I was, but in reality, for a degrowth economy to be implemented would require a radical shift in civilization akin to "The Giver."

#16 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2017-04-22 01:02 PM | Reply

A big degrowth event would have to occur as a catalyst to create a restructuring of an economy to focus on growth-neutral principles.
All in all, it is a fantasy on any scale beyond small communities, and you likely wouldn't want to live in such a state if implemention was attempted in a population over 250n.

#17 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2017-04-22 01:14 PM | Reply

"Attempting to universalize affluence would be catastrophic. "
What would lead a person to believe that this is the goal of anyone?
#5 | POSTED BY SULLY AT 2017-04-20 10:25 AM | REPLY

the election of Trump.

#18 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-04-22 06:54 PM | Reply

We Could Enjoy a Degrowth Economy -- stamp our nation Conservative! and call it a day. someone turns the lights out.

#19 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-04-22 06:56 PM | Reply

#17
if THAT'S what it means, then i'm all for it. 🏆🇺🇸

#20 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-04-22 06:59 PM | Reply

radical shift in civilization.

#16 | POSTED BY GONOLES92

Very radical. According to people that like to thinkulate, the survival of the human race will eventually come down to removing the idea of personal profit from the human race.

In the sense that you cannot 'unlearn' something, how will society not use the new tools?

#21 | Posted by kudzu at 2017-04-23 06:56 AM | Reply

Lots of flaws but this concept has merit.

#22 | Posted by squinch at 2017-04-23 07:27 AM | Reply

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