Plea for growth – The future of global capitalism

Critique of economic growth is not new. What is new is that the discussion about the need for growth no longer is a phenomenon of the feuilleton, or social groups. This gives rise to doubt. For the politics and economy, it is essential whether growth is the solution; or rather, it is the cause of present and future problems.

Significantly, at the same time, the confidence drops in social progress. As a rule, there is a one-dimensional notion of what is growth: An ongoing increase in the quantity / the greed for more and more/. Unmentioned is usually also that growth resulted from freedom. The entrepreneurial freedom to decide which products are made in what ways and offered to the market. Knowledge is the engine of growth; it is transformed into technical progress. In this respect the author calls for renunciation of growth seems rather odd: “You mean namely the renunciation of the implementation of new knowledge in a higher quality and more diverse product world, and the private sector and not for profit.”

Not everyone will agree with a state growth restriction. Those who demand an exit from the growth path should therefore be aware of the foreseeable consequences. Since the financial crisis, the view is widespread that a souled of limitless growth speculators have to answer for an unimaginable destruction of capital. Not true, contends the author: “The bankruptcy is solely responsible for a depreciation of the capital stock and normally for a change of ownership.” In addition, history proves him right. After the boom in railway construction from the mid-19th Century founder noise suffered a harsh crash.

This in no way led to the destruction of the railway networks. The same applies to the dot-com crisis at the turn of the 21st Century. Ultimately, the central thesis of the approaching end of global growth because of scarcity of resources has been proven wrong. “The extent or the speed of these innovations was always assumed so low that they do not absorb the impact of consumption on the scarce resources. The authors of the study completely underestimate the potential of technological progress.