Group members: Clara, Judith, Luca, Lucas, Michalina
To create a safe and sustainable future we need to rethink the growth mentality and change to an economy beyond growth. While that might appear radical to some, we believe that the current situation is in fact more radical, writes Group 5a <3
We struggle to imagine a world beyond economic growth. We know, for sure, that economy based on growth creates abnormal inequalities and is to a high degree responsible for the current ecological crises, and yet we see post-growth economy as the radical notion of the two. We believe that for a safe and sustainable future we need to rethink the growth mentality and change to a degrowth economy.
Indeed, for many centuries, economic growth was a way to increase wellbeing. While this relationship still holds in places where economic growth helps to alleviate poverty, studies show that in wealthy economies the relationship between happiness and national income is no longer significant in the long-term.
Taking the long-term as a reference, we need to ask ourselves what our goals are as a society and how to redesign our economic systems to achieve the desired ends!
The current economic system, with GDP growth as a measure of success, relies on “more”. More production to fuel more consumption, and more resource exploitation to power the increasing production. It is an economy for the sake of the economy, a growth economy that benefits the few disproportionately rather than the people or the planet as such.
Reorienting the economy to more sustainable means might be seen as radical or even provoke fear, possibly due to the historical association of lack of economic growth with economic recession. In these periods, unemployment increases and disposable income falls, lowering quality of life for parts of the society. However, degrowth is different from economic recession. Degrowth economy is circular, planned and intentional, and focuses on increasing equality, income security and overall wellbeing of people and the planet.
Less can mean more - more sharing of the resources, more circularity, more thriving nature, more equality, more security, more happiness, and more social equality. In short, less can actually lead to more happiness, and most of all, gives us a chance at tackling ecological crises of today. If you really think these goals are radical, then let us be radical together and seize them.