By Joe Skoog ’13
Modern economics are all predicated upon growth as the primary indicator of success.
However, this idea is incredibly flawed.
Instead of stimulating the economy to grow, we should let it collapse.
Firstly, it would help solve the financial crisis and allow the United States to default on their loans, thus stopping things like rising inflation rates and foreign lending because we would start with a clean slate.
Economist Bill Bonner wrote in an article for the Christian Science Monitor, “Let’s have that catastrophic collapse and get it over with. Better now than later. It will only be worse if it is postponed. But seriously, how would we ‘fix’ the situation? Well….that is how we’d fix the situation. We were being serious. We’re always serious. And earnest. And trying to do our best to help. But that’s not all we would do. The problem really has two parts to it. One part is natural, inevitable…it can’t be fixed.”
Instead of attempting to grow our economy, we should let it shrink.
The idea of letting our economy devolve may seem scary but it is not a total departure from what we know now. Instead we would engage in localized economies.
This will also help our environment, because growth can only delay ecological collapse, not avoid it. In an article by William Powers, an analyst for the World Policy Journal, he wrote, “Technology alone won’t save us from environmental collapse. It will take four to five generations of technological innovation to achieve carbon-free production. Alas, we don’t have that much time. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the atmosphere’s tipping point could come within the next few decades. If climate change is not reversed swiftly, its effects could prove irreversible.”
Even if technology that is created by a growth economy is able to solve warming in the long term, we will be past the tipping point by then. Therefore, devolving the economy is the only solution to the environmental conundrum.