jzhao.xyz

Search

Search IconIcon to open search

Degrowth

Last updated Sep 7, 2021 Edit Source

Source: People are realizing that degrowth is bad by Noah Smith

If we interpret “degrowth” as the decision to fix global GDP at its current level, this completely screws over an the existing 40% of the global population that earns less than $2.50 a day while the already rich continue to enjoy their cushy life styles.

If we wanted to avoid keeping a good chunk of the globe in poverty, we then need to define a new income distribution where everyone who is above the mean is driven down to the mean and everybody above can comfortably grow to the mean. Yet in this case, convincing the vast majority of people living in developed countries to freeze world income at about $17,000/year would be near impossible – pretty much political suicide for any platform.

In fact, this would also just not work economically because of how interconnected the global economy is now.

“When COVID hit, poor countries were devastated not just by the virus but by the aftershocks of virus-induced slowdowns in consumption in rich countries.”

EK on degrowth:

I think that if the political demand of the [degrowth] movement becomes you don’t get to eat beef, you will set climate politics back so far, so fast, it would be disastrous. Same thing with S.U.V.s. I don’t like S.U.V.s. I don’t drive one. But if you are telling people in rich countries that the climate movement is for them not having the cars they want to have, you are just going to lose. You are going to lose fast…This is where the politics of [degrowth] for me fall apart…

The ideal would not be to reduce economic growth, but to reduce consumption as a whole in order to increase investment and funding for new green technology.

Instead of “consume less”, their message should be “consume less today, so you can consume more tomorrow”