« Met Office Fun & Games | Main | No Shit Sherlock »

Monboit's Rapture At The Arrival Of The End Times

As the dream of economic growth dies, a new plan awaits testing | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian

How much of this is real? How much of the economic growth of the past 60 years? Of the wealth and comfort, the salaries and pensions that older people accept as normal, even necessary?
Once our needs had been met, continued economic growth did most people few favours. During the second half of the growth frenzy, unemployment rose, inequality rose, social mobility declined, the poor lost amenities (such as housing) while the rich enhanced theirs.
Now, bar the shouting, it's over. Last week the Wall Street consultant Nouriel Roubini, one of the few who predicted the financial crash, spelt out the fix we're in. Governments cannot afford to bail out the banks again. Quantitative easing can no longer help, nor can currency depreciation. Italy and Spain will be forced, in effect, to default, and Germany won't pay out any more.
Nor can the current economic system address the environmental crisis.
So far governments have responded to the renewed crisis of capitalism by frantically seeking to invoke the old magic again, to start the engine of creative destruction once more. The means to do so no longer exist. Even if they did, they would only delay and enlarge the underlying problems.
The most hopeful sign that politicians might now be prepared to ask the big questions was the presence, in Ed Miliband's pile of holiday reading, of Prof Tim Jackson's book Prosperity Without Growth.
Jackson has begun developing a macroeconomic model which would allow economic output to be stabilised. He experiments with raising the ratio of investment to consumption, changing the nature and conditions of investment and shifting the balance from private to public spending, while staying within tight constraints on the use of resources. He finds that the redistribution of both income and employment (through shorter working hours) is essential to the project. So is re-regulation of the banks, enhanced taxation of resources and pollution and measures to discourage manic consumption, such as tighter restrictions on advertising.

Why do I have a feeling Monboit typed all this tripe one handed?Because it is all such a priapic wet dream of his he believes is coming true that all connection to reality has been lost?

Comments

I would not be too dismissive of Mr. Monboit's views, we need to keep our minds open to all possible options when it comes to the rebuilding of this country after the next big crash.
Although I think a prerequisite to any debate on our future after the coming Armageddon is that we send all the present incumbents of Parliament swiftly on their way to Valhalla!

The plan which Monbiot has found is nothing special. It is Commmunism and has been tried before.

"Jackson has begun developing a macroeconomic model which would allow economic output to be stabilised."

Unless the finding of efficiencies within the stable economic output outstrips population growth you will have a creeping deprivation of the population. The easiest answer to that problem will be to pretend it isn't happening.

Gareth, you may do well to remember that various factions of socialism (especially green socialism) ALSO advocate zero population growth.
now there's a Moonbat wet dream! Everything stays the same, forever...

Gareth, you may do well to remember that various factions of socialism (especially green socialism) ALSO advocate zero population growth.
now there's a Moonbat wet dream! Everything stays the same, forever...

wh00ps, I broadly agree but you don't go quite far enough. Things don't stay the same for ever for all of us. The plan is that the richer part of the world's population gradually sees its standard of living fall until everybody in the world enjoys the lifestyle of a 17th cebtury peasant. Ah, equality!

@ Gareth,

"The plan which Monbiot has found is nothing special. It is Commmunism and has been tried before."

Exactly.

No no no.

Standards of living won't fall, because by reducing the population the decreasing output can be spread among the survivors for a higher level. So obvious, so traditional for communists.

Though I suppose we can keep some deniers in chains and rags, rather than outright exterminate them, in order to provide the managing class some creature comforts which they deserve.

Post a comment