Greens and Growth

We have a green here trying to argue all sorts and come out pro-growth, so long as it is clean etc.

It is all very simple. Growth simply means producing more of what people want. We produce more by putting in more resources or by using those resources more efficiently. Using things efficiently is good, using more resources is bad. We want more of the former and less of the latter always.

Productivity enhancements pretty much just happen, it is in our nature to experiment and it is hard to stop productivity advancing. If you want zero growth then you need to direct that productivity towards some combination of increasing leisure or reducing resources used.

Most productivity improvements do just that, but not enough if your aim is zero growth. So you need to increase the cost of resources above that which people would be willing to pay and you need to reduce the benefit people get from working to make leisure time more pleasant.

Everything else proposed is hot air. So taxing everything then burning the money is the way to go, I just don’t think it is a going to be a particularly good, or popular, idea.


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