Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Top economist backs the Greens

Greens and economists are often at odds. The reductionist short-termism that is usual in conventional economics is the antithesis of the Green view. So it's nice - if perhaps a bit worrying - when a top economist endorses us.

Here's what Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said in a recent interview with the Guardian:
“I think the Greens are right. We have to make sure that the benefits of growth are shared more equally. Anybody who is concerned about our environment has to be committed to a more egalitarian policy, because we can’t let those at the bottom have inadequate means.”
That's not entirely a Green view, of course. The problem with growth is not just that the benefits have gone to the richest 1%. It's also that the planet cannot stand continued growth in material things. Unlimited growth in mining, manufacturing and population, to name but three, is not merely undesirable but impossible.

We have been sold growth on the basis that everyone would benefit in the long run. But guess what? This is the long run and most of us haven't.

It's time for a new approach - an approach based on meeting needs and respecting planetary constraints rather than making profits. The Greens are the only party that has this at the centre of its thinking. The only party looking to the real future.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed that we have to wrench the financial system back onto a sustainable path, which means a dynamic zero-growth - but while we do have growth let's share the benefits more equally. Wilkinson & Pickett proved that inequality is bad for everyone, so the way society is currently headed - towards giving more and more of the pie to fewere and fewer people - is insane