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Economic System Broke(n)

While the pain we all feel in the current economic meltdown is very real, the system we’re attempting to revive was broken long before the latest bubble and recession. Our economy has come to depend on perpetual growth. Whether that growth is real (as in increasing throughput and the inherent liquidation of finite resources) or just on paper (speculators speculating about what other speculators will do), it cannot be sustained.

The problems with our current system extend far beyond its sheer unsustainability. It long ago stopped providing us the prosperity or happiness we seek. Our communities have been crumbling under the costs and impacts of growth, and rising GDP is no longer an indicator of increasing quality of life.

The good news: if the current system isn’t providing happiness or prosperity, then kissing it goodbye won’t be as painful as we fear. Progressing to a more enlightened system favoring a steady, sustainable, healthy economy will free us to achieve real prosperity and true happiness. Let’s hope this recession sets the stage to rebuild an economy that’s not a growth-addicted house of cards waiting to fall again.

The documentary I’m producing, Hooked on Growth, will explore this premise fully. If you can’t wait to learn more, check out the essays listed to the right. You can also find more under Economic Growth.

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