Daily Archives: April 20, 2024

Book Bits: 20 April 2024

Growth: A History And A Reckoning
Daniel Susskind
Review via Financial Times
The book starts with a canter through centuries of muddled thinking. Thomas Malthus and his contemporaries thought that growth was inherently unsustainable, as a growing population would eventually run out of resources. Later, development economists at the World Bank sustained a “‘fetish’ for investment”, relying on models that saw physical capital — stuff that people could touch — as key for generating development.
Most recently, there are “degrowthers”, who include the likes of activist Greta Thunberg and anthropologist Jason Hickel. Although their views are (too) often vaguely defined, the basic fear is that more economic growth will gobble up the Earth’s resources, and so policymakers should seek less of it to prevent environmental catastrophe.

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