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economic growth,economy,gdp,limits to growth,prosperity,sustainability

shark fin shows above water

Growth Worship is the Real Problem

Robert Samuelson got it half-right in his syndicated Washington Post column last week:

Let Us Praise GDP

His concern is with the desire of some GDP critics to change the way GDP (gross domestic product) is calculated. Since everlasting growth of GDP is our Holy Grail, I expect every reader knows that GDP is a measure of economic activity, or “throughput.”

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economic growth,economy,gdp,sustainability

Growth Chart

What’s Wrong With Our Economy? OCD

There are several good reasons to laud Clifford Cobb, Ted Halstead, Jonathan Rowe and The Atlantic magazine for this piece:

If the GDP Is Up, Why Is America Down?

By most measures the U.S. economy is quite healthy. We seem to have recovered quite nicely from the Great Recession which began in 2008. Unemployment down, the longest period of sustained job growth on record, stock market up. GDP in positive growth territory. Yet in this presidential election year, GOP candidates are promising to fix the “terrible” economy over which current U.S. President (D) Barack Obama presides. Even Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is promising to right problems with this economy. “…something is profoundly wrong,” he has stated.

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climate change,economic growth,gdp,gdp growth

emissions from coal-fired power plant

Climate-Saving Economic Miracle Debunked

Economic growth is, of course, our modern culture’s Holy Grail. We’re not willing to sacrifice economic growth for any reason, not even the salvation of human civilization. We insist, therefore, that any plan to reduce carbon emissions cannot take a chunk out of GDP growth.

Today’s nominee to the Wall of Fame doesn’t necessarily call that obsession with economic growth out for its suicidal tendencies, but it does do a great job of busting one of the myths about economic growth that some of its apologists love to promote.

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economic growth,economy,limits to growth,overshoot,politics

obama econ legacy

The Economic Legacy No One is Talking About

Compliments are in order for New York Times financial columnist (and CNBC host) Andrew Ross Sorkin for an in-depth and thoughtful economic piece in the Times’ Sunday Magazine:

President Obama Weighs His Economic Legacy

Note, however, that this is on the Wall of Shame, rather than Fame. That’s because of a fatal flaw in the assumptions underlying what is otherwise a great piece of reporting. It’s clear throughout that both Sorkin and President Obama are stuck in the 20th century. Those were heady times, when the world was our oyster. It seemed we could grow forever; we’d not yet stretched our economic rubber band so far past limits to growth that it would clearly break, or snap back with such ferocity as to be extraordinarily painful.

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conservation,overpopulation,population growth,species extinction

Sally Jewell

Honey, We Are Shrinking the Wild

Natural areas in the U.S. are disappearing at the rate of a football field every 2.5 minutes, according to U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

“If we stay on this trajectory, 100 years from now, national parks will be like postage stamps of nature on a map, isolated islands of conservation with run-down facilities, that crowds of Americans visit like zoos to catch a glimpse of our nation’s remaining wildlife and undeveloped patches of land.

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Wall Of Shame

Reporting & commentary that assume eternal growth is feasible, good, and necessary for prosperity.

Wall Of Fame

Reporting & commentary that recognize growth has limits, costs, and consequences.


User Nominated

Examples of classic pro-growth bias or exceptional acknowledgement of limits to growth, submitted by our readers!.


Top Voted

Every Friday we honor the week’s top-voted story, from the Wall of Shame, Wall of Fame, or User Nominations.

Citizen-Powered Media – 2016