One of the Biggest Ideas of 2013: The End of Growth

pizzoStephen Pizzo, retired journalist and astute observer of politics and society, has decided to focus his writing energy in 2013 on the truth that unbridled growth is a sustainable economic principle.

Pizzo, in his first column of the new year, points out that none of the political machinations that have gone on the past few years in DC, make any sense when viewed in the context of the new era of limits into which capitalism entered many years ago.

“Capitalism was a wildly successful scheme. It worked extraordinarily well for a couple of hundred years. But now is not then, and never will be again,” Pizzo says. “Now we enter into the age of limits. A time when the key ingredient of free market capitalism will no longer function; constant, year-on-year, month-on-month, quarter-on-quarter growth.

 Western democracies, founded on capitalism, have taken completely unthinking advantage of finite resources and then used those resources not only to create materialist societies, but also to pollute the air, land, and water on which all species on earth depend.

environment_limitsThe result: a completely unsustainable economic model. I believe that the economic transformation which the Western world is currently experiencing is the natural outgrowth of those ill-advised practices. Furthermore, I believe that even though we may already have passed the point of no return on the environment, we can begin to mitigate some of its more dire effects by radical behavioral modifications. Of those changes, none outside environmental influences is nearly as important as adjusting our economic model to thrive within the limits imposed by nature.

While I personally find environmental issues to be more interesting and significant than economic modeling, I applaud Pizzo for his decision to focus on the limits on growth this year.

Hang on, folks! It’s going to be a bumpy, adventuresome ride.

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