“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.

[snip]

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?

Tweet about this on Twitter1Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

38 Responses to “Sustainable Growth” Wasn’t

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @joshgerstein Of course, they were still SITTING on relevant data in the Moalin case, so they ought to be docked that one.
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @joshgerstein True: Moalin, ACLU, and that Idaho one.
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @MiekeEoyang I misread that as "satirical" and you had me very confused.
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel How to stop 36 NYPD cops from stop-and-frisking: raise 2 white flags. http://t.co/PRyWcJXiFP
4mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @MissShumsky But that's 36 cops who won't be stop-and-frisking. @srubenfeld
5mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @MissShumsky: Great use of resources: "Nearly 3 dozen detectives assigned to white flag mystery" http://t.co/mxWDQgfhg0 via @nypost
6mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @sarahjeong HLS will make sure you're passed if only to avoid having embarrassment of having HLS' most amusing tweeter-grad fail. @Popehat
6mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @B_Amer Hot as in temperature or hot as in awesome? You're making good time--are you stopping to have ANY fun?
8mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @jaytingle You want some more-a Dora?
14mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @andreaprasow It's got to be VERY conservative bc so many are in Super.
16mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @andreaprasow Oh, I know--was thinking of that when I used most conservative #. It'd be great to put $$s to the 500 CT cases.
16mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @ChadLivengood: Ballot initiative petitions OK'd for wolf hunting in #Michigan, in limbo for minimum wage http://t.co/EFWC8GaNVz
42mreplyretweetfavorite
August 2011
S M T W T F S
« Jul   Sep »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031