Growth vs degrowth!
by Julia Conley, staff writer
“The bulk of a generation of economic growth has been captured and concentrated in a few hands, and many people have barely seen any of it.”
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett are the three richest people in the U.S., with more combined wealth than the bottom 50% of the population. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images, Michael Cohen/Getty Images/The New York Times, Fortune Live Media/Flickr/cc) New data released by an economist focused on inequality and the accumulation of wealth by top earners explains the numbers behind Sen. Bernie Sanders’ often-cited statistic that the three richest Americans hold more wealth than the 160 million people who make up the bottom 50% of the population.
Our goal is to outline the general aspects of a political agenda for a gradual transition to a commons-oriented, social knowledge economy.
The degrowth movement is a relatively new contender in the economic and political debates that swirl around humanity’s future. Degrowthers believe we need a more modest and sane alternative to the constant pressures of expansion that are destroying the ecological basis of our existence. Author and essayist Richard Swift explores the degrowth alternative, in theory and in practice. **This episode originally aired December 13, 2013.
Michel Bauwens and Vasilis Kostakis
This essay tries to outline the general aspects of a political agenda for a gradual transition to a commons-oriented, social knowledge economy.
The price of renewable energy continues to drop, which is a good thing, and some new technologies like that from Bill Gates hold promise. But no single disruptive energy generating technology has emerged to sufficiently course-correct against ecological collapse…. As is often said, you can’t expect the system to fix the system.
In recent years prominent pundits including Steven Pinker, Jordan Peterson and Bill Gates have invoked the progress in global life expectancies to defend capitalism against a growing tide of critics. It’s a familiar story. The prevailing narrative is that capitalism was a progressive force that put an end to serfdom and set off a dramatic rise in living standards. But this fairytale doesn’t hold up against the evidence.