Despite the obvious absurdity of taxing our finite planet to infinity, growth remains the exclusive economic goal most officials in power cling to. What can explain their sobering lack of vision?
“Ecological degradation is not a luxury concern for countries to leave on one side until they are rich enough to give it their attention,” says Kate Raworth. What would be the steps toward an economy regenerative by design?
Conventional economic wisdom is that austerity and inequality are necessary pains of growth. Data show, on the contrary, that to benefit all people the economy must first be designed this way.
If supply and demand equilibrium were an economic “law,” the 1929 and 2008 financial crises would have never existed. Rather than ready-made theories, economics needs the experimental background provided by systems thinking.
Classical economists have relied on the model of physics to reach predictability, which led them to depict a “rational economic man.” Contemporary studies reveal a very different picture of our economic behavior.
“All the world’s a stage,” said Shakespeare. Along with a new role for Market and State, new characters such as Household, Commons, Society, and Earth are required on stage in the 21st-century economics’ play.
There is no goal in conventional economics, except one by default: indefinite growth. In nature, this is the principle of cancer. To get back to health, it is time to give the economy a more meaningful purpose.
Can humanity thrive without destroying the planet? It all depends on your representation of the economic purpose, says Kate Raworth, a “renegade economist” working at Oxford and Cambridge universities.