Excellent descriptions from Special report: Life in a land without growth. Note that I do not agree all of its expectations. Quoted below are the interesting features that I also think so [Words in square bracket are added by me]:


  • … we are taxing resources at the point at which they are removed from the biosphere: oil as it is pumped from the ground, for example, or fish as they are scooped from the sea. This raises the price of those resources, and encourages people to use them sparingly… Unfortunately it [this tax system] is also regressive: poorer people end up paying a higher proportion of their incomes on goods than the rich do. We offset this by using some of the proceeds to fund benefits programmes and projects for them.
  • Without economic growth to raise incomes, we have to tackle poverty differently. [Do we ever tackle poverty through economic growth? We should think about new way long time ago.]
  • Interest rates have therefore fallen very low, although not to zero. Though the rate of physical throughput of resources is limited, increases in efficiency and developments in technology are allowing us to get more and more out of the resources we have.
  • Our steady-state economy can’t support the enormous superstructure of finance that used to be built around expectations of future growth. Investment is mainly for replacement and qualitative improvement, and the enormous pyramid of debt that was previously balanced on top of our economy has shrunk.
  • Now that we are paying the environmental costs of what we use, natural resources are expensive. So making short-lived, disposable goods no longer makes economic sense.
  • … we’re developing new models of ownership: rather than buying a car or carpet, you are likely to lease it from an owner who is responsible for maintaining it, and who will recycle it at the end of its useful life.
  • … maintenance and repair – as opposed to production – are much more important sources of employment than ever before.
  • One of the toughest issues, politically, has been population. We know that we will have to stabilise our population – and that includes immigration rates as well as birth rate. We’re not quite there yet, but we are moving in that direction. This will push up the average age of the population, putting pressure on the pensions system, but our economists are busy working out what contributions will be needed to make it sustainable. [Migration will help the transition.]
  • How is all this affecting our quality of life? … psychologists and economists had found that the correlation between absolute income and happiness extends only to a certain threshold. Once basic needs are satisfied, only relative income – how well off we are compared to our peers – influences how happy people say they are… Fortunately, then, abandoning economic growth has not meant a decline in total happiness.

You might not like some of them. But if the alternative is a world in the turmoil of resource wars, terrorism, failed state, hunger and epidemics, which will you choose?

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