We seemed to have painted ourselves into a corner. See, wealth in the global economy depends on economic growth. Stocks, bonds, and real estate only maintain or increase in value if the economy grows. But the economy can't grow forever in a finite ecosystem without eventually destroying it.
So the strange circumstance we find ourselves is this. Our wealth gets wiped out if the economy doesn't grow. And it gets wiped out if it does, taking us along with it.
There's gotta be a way out.
There is. The folks at the Center for the Steady State Economy (CASSE) have another game we can play. It's called steady state economics. A steady state economy:
- Fluctuates slightly around a stable size
- Maintains itself within its ecological limits
- Focuses us on the good life instead of more stuff
- Leaves a healthy planet and economy to future generations
- Makes room for developing nations to raise living standards
In short, it's an economy that can help us share the planet. You can read more about it here.
The folks at CASSE have a position statement that Shareable has signed. We urge you to sign it too.
The economy of the future is far from worked out, though CASSE has some promising ideas. What's certain is that we need to grow out of a growth economy.
Teaser image courtesy of sebastiandavies.