“Sustainable Growth” Wasn’t

There’s something that bugged me about this article (indeed, bugs me about most economic analyses of our current crash). Amidst a discussion that fairly lays out some of the problems with the global economy (all the while ignoring that one critical issue in the US is a gutting of manufacture and unions and therefore increasing inequality), it talks about how to rebalance the global economy so as to return to “sustainable growth.”

What it failed to create, however, was the kind of virtuous cycle of growing sales, growing profits and growing employment, all feeding off of one another, to keep the economy growing even as the stimulus wears off — “escape velocity,” to borrow a term from aerodynamics.


The truth is we’re in something of a trap. Until imbalances are corrected, the U.S. and global economies are unlikely to return to robust and sustainable growth. And yet to the extent that we address these imbalances, the correction process will inevitably be a short-term drag on an already weak economy.

I mean, aside from Pearlstein’s blind reverence for the market, he’s right about the notion of balance. It is true, for example, that the newly rebalanced globe, America will play a smaller role as the consumer of last resort.

But it’d be nice if, at the same time as analysts think about rebalancing the global economy, they’d consider what their idea of “sustainable growth” meant in the past–and what it would mean in the future if it continued unchecked. After all, the sustainable-growth-that-turned-out-to-be-unsustainable of the last 60 years of a globalized economy caused climate change which will be an increasing drain on even a growing economy as disasters become worse and more frequent.

The spending on unnecessary consumer goods, the transportation miles driven, the dietary patterns, the waste. Those things caused climate change. Those are the things economists would like to return to, if slightly adjusted around the globe.

Since we’re going to be spending the next couple of years trying to find “sustainable growth,” do you think we could also keep in mind what would be truly sustainable for the globe?

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emptywheel @ThusBloggedA A testament to the fact that GOP will avoid hurting authoritarian Dem like Daley over partisan advantage.
emptywheel @zmanian Commenter suggested that's more abt being able to get info on a spooks local DUI. Otherwise, IGs would be monitoring Agency abuse.
emptywheel How had there not already been a DOJ investigation of Chicago given the torture and disappearances?
emptywheel @umbyrella LOL. Sorry about that.
emptywheel Clarification: James Clapper is only going to read your Tweets if you're spook, want to be one, or want to sell Gatorade on base commissary.
emptywheel @umbyrella Well, only if you're a spook, want to be one, OR plan to work in a commissary on a base.
emptywheel Oops! James Clapper ALSO directed to read your social media! DEFINITELY don't talk abt EFF t-shits on Twitter. https://t.co/eJTKcw47yt
emptywheel I'm sort of curious what would happen if a bunch of tiny Lavabits committed to throwing away records at 17.5 months. https://t.co/CX977YQka0
emptywheel Section 307 requires Clapper to give Congress a list w/in 30 days of ANY Electronic Comm Service Provider not hoarding your records 18 mos.
emptywheel @ErrataRob Well just in case Congress is mandating that Clapper go thru every spook's hoodie stack to be sure. Can never be too safe.
emptywheel Last year @AramRoston busted top NSA officer for on-the-side company. https://t.co/iEjVb2qsH4 Intel auth would eliminate rept on conflicts
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