Thought provoking piece by Al Jazeera guest writer questions the limits of perpetual economic growth. What do you think?
“Aggressive growth is impossible ecologically and implausible economically. We need economic strategies at the local, state and national levels that prioritize community benefit over corporate gain, and which presume a need for local resiliency instead of depending on uncontrolled growth. We also need to develop new strategies to democratize wealth in the face of extreme inequality.
Like the programs developed in “the state and local laboratories of democracy” that led to the New Deal, numerous experiments percolating across the country in the “new economy” — building cooperative and community-owned businesses, developing locally focused supply chains at a municipal and regional level, building new forms for public ownership of essential services like banking and power generation — may just point the way.
The end of growth poses a long-term systemic challenge, and such explorations suggest that a new direction may be quietly being explored in the midst of economic and ecological degradation. It is a direction that is likely to accelerate as economic and social pain of the decaying economic system continues to force Americans to explore solutions that take us beyond the tired nostrums of the past.”
—Gar Alperovitz is a professor of political economy at the University of Maryland and a founder of the Democracy Collaborative. He is the author of “What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk about the Next American Revolution.”
All others held constant, assume and endless supply.
This idea that we somehow have to be “fair” about everything is how we wind up having Bill Nye getting into public discussions about climate change, a spectacle my colleague Daniel D’Addario recently noted mistakenly gives the whole fiasco attention and credibility “as an entertaining, wacky debate between two personalities.” It’s how we wind up continuing on in a nation in which three out of ten people take the Bible literally, and an alarming nearly 40% believe in intelligent design. Roughly 18% of Americans believe the sun revolves around the earth Should we have a debate about it? Should we hear out the “sun revolves around the earth” faction?
In our zeal for balance, we have allowed ignorance to be perpetuated. We send our kids to schools where the “Christian Perspective” is given weight as historical fact. We talk about the “debate” over climate change as if it’s a “debate” and not a scientifically supported serious warning. We let other people’s ignorant arrogance run roughshod over our own misguided attempts at open-mindedness.
“Cosmos” isn’t trying to pick a fight. It’s a love letter to the triumph of investigation over superstition. It’s not perpetuating an agenda, other than maybe Neil deGrasse Tyson’s perfectly sane advice that you “don’t try to use the Bible as a textbook.” Or as Carl Sagan once said, “It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”
The Kochs exemplify a new reality that strikes at the heart of America. The vast wealth that has accumulated at the top of the American economy is not itself the problem. The problem is that political power tends to rise to where the money is. And this combination of great wealth with political power leads to greater and greater accumulations and concentrations of both — tilting the playing field in favor of the Kochs and their ilk, and against the rest of us. America is not yet an oligarchy, but that’s where the Koch’s and a few other billionaires are taking us.
Redefining survival of the fittest.
My life is perfectly in tune with Imagine Dragons being played on the radio right now. Every time I get in a car, enter an establishment, etc.
This happened once before with Nickelback.
Clearly God hates me.
am I weird for having a favorite stall in every bathroom?
This guy is in my punchable face club.