I listened to a talk on limits to economic growth, suggesting that we need zero growth or “degrowth”. I know that these ideas were popular several decades ago, and am surprised to see it presented in that way today.
We have an economical system that’s not aligned with ecological realities, and is terrible – for people, the Earth and future generations – no matter what type of growth we have, whether it’s the usual growth, zero growth or degrowth.
We need an economical system that is aligned with ecological realities, where what’s easy and attractive to do – for individuals and corporations – is good for people, the Earth and future generations.
And that is very much possible. We created our current economical system. It made sense, to some extent, at the time it was initially developed. And we can develop a quite different system. A good question here is: if we were to create an economic system today, with our current knowledge and values, how would it look?
A few things are clear: We need strong institutions to regulate it so corporations don’t take over the policy process. And, for instance…….. Strong taxes on what we don’t want or want less of, such as use of fossil fuels and natural resources, and relatively useless activities such as trading stocks. And incentives for what we do want more of, such as renewable energy use, local trading, worker owned businesses, rengenerative design and more.
We can also say that we need an economical system that supports certain types of growth (quality of life, well being, knowledge), more – for a time – of other types of growth (renewable energy, sustainable technology, regenerative design), and far less of other types of “growth” (use of fossil fuel, release of harmful chemicals, extraction of non-renewable resources).
Richard Wolff talks about his book Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism.
Imagine a country where the majority of the population reaps the majority of the benefits for their hard work, creative ingenuity and collaborative efforts. Imagine a country where corporate losses aren’t socialized, while gains are captured by an exclusive minority. Imagine a country run as a democracy, from the bottom up, not a plutocracy from the top down. Richard Wolff not only imagines it, but in his compelling, captivating and stunningly reasoned new book, Democracy at Work, he details how we get there from here – and why we absolutely must.
— Nomi Prins about Richard Wolff
Is There an Alternative for Capitalist Economics and Politics? Richard Wolff Says Yes – an interview with Richard Wolff from TruthOut.