Can growth be equated to progress? Data show that it is not GDP growth by itself that improves people’s lives but how money is distributed, notably through investing in public infrastructures.
|This post belongs to a reading series of Less is More by Jason Hickel. For quick access to all chapters, please click here.
Disclaimer: This chapter summary is personal work and an invitation to read the book itself for a detailed view of all the author’s ideas.
It is generally assumed that “We need to keep growing in order to keep improving people’s lives. To abandon growth would be to abandon human progress itself.” Jason Hickel adds, “It’s a powerful narrative, and it seems so obviously correct. People’s lives are clearly better now than they were in the past, and it seems reasonable to believe that we have growth to thank for that.” But empirical evidence shows that “It’s not growth itself that matters – what matters is how income is distributed, and the extent to which it is invested in public services.”