It’s a core tenet of our Western industrial/capitalist/democratic orthodoxy that something in the range of 3% annual economic growth is the benchmark of a healthy society. That’s 3% compounded growth.
Now let’s take a span of 50-years, roughly one adult lifetime. Let’s say the economy stood at 100X at the beginning of that period and grew at 3% over that interval. By the end of that 50-years, what began as 100X would have grown to 438X.
This is all great stuff if only our world, our planet, our biosphere was as expansive and elastic that it could (Read more…)
Canada’s economy is set to grow less than the government thought, but it’s not our Prime Minister’s fault.
True under Stephen Harper the World Bank has downgraded Canada from being the 4th most Business Friendly country in 2006 to 17th in 2013, but, as most Conservatives know, businesses have nothing to do with the Canadian economy.
Yes, Stephen Harper was Prime Minister when the World Economic Forum said Canada is becoming less competitive, dropping in global ranking from 9th place in 2009 to 14th place in 2013, but our government can’t be responsible for federal regulations,
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: How A Bad Economy Is Not Harper’s Fault
What if the way forward isn’t? What if it’s time for us to turn around, to go back?
James Lovelock said the future of mankind, if there is to be one, will require that we accept, not sustainable growth, but sustainable retreat. We need to grow smaller. It’s not a matter of choice either.
There are too damned many of us, each demanding an ever-greater amount of resources, and we’re far exceeding our planet’s ability to regenerate the natural resources we need. According to research by the Global Footprint Network, we’re already using up an
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Achieving a Steady State Economy for Canada
Last month, while reading and reviewing Too Much Magic, I came across a line in the latter half of the book that really stung: “Not even people who are preoccupied with climate change like to think about it anymore.” It hurts because it’s true. I’m tired, and disheartened by the snail’s pace of climate progress. Meanwhile, the malaise of a feverish planet is rapidly intensifying, each drought or extreme weather event unfurling a new set of problems, foreshadowing our own undoing.
Kunstler goes on to write,
The more you explore the problem, the worse it seems and the
. . . → Read More: Boreal Citizen: From the mouths of Muppets: Why climate solutions are “simply not done”
The only region in North America that expects a decrease in power consumption is Ontario and it’s all thanks to energy conservation initiatives. This is really great because it proves that energy efficiency policies can make a difference in how much energy is required to power a growing economy.
What’s even better is that decrease in overall energy consumption will mean that the money that went to paying for electricity can be spent elsewhere, which should in theory propel the economy even further.
“This isn’t because economies aren’t growing and our population is not growing, and it isn’t because people
. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Ontario Demands Less Energy Despite Economic Growth
Referenced IMF data can be found here Canada’s increasing Debt-to-GDP ratio is a problem no one is talking about. While the country’s gross government debt (which includes all levels of government) is large, it is rising faster than our … . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Conservative Canada Is Closer To Crisis
Sept 2012: Unemployment is up at 7.4%; it has been increasing since June while American unemployment has only gone down.
July 2012: Worst trade deficit ever in Canadian history at $2.3 billion.
2012: GDP growth rate is declining (PDF pg 22). Canada is no longer the fastest growing economy in the G7; it is now behind America and Japan, as well as other more comparable resource-based economies like Australia and Norway.
2007-2012: Growing debt-to-GDP ratio, now at 85%. Since 1996 Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio had been decreasing from a dangerously high 102% to an eventual low of 66% in
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: The Conservative Economic Record
Once again the news of a shrinking economy leaves me with mixed feelings. According to the CBC, the economy of the European Union shrank by 0.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2012 after a flat first quarter.
Surely this is bad news. The EU is heavily in debt and suffers from record unemployment—grim statistics indeed. And all of this leads to increasing social dysfunction.
Yet we know that
It seems only weeks ago that austerity opponents were crying in the wind. Their words were blowing away unheard. No more. The Greeks flatly rejected austerity in a recent election and attention had to be paid. France elected a new anti-austerity president, François Hollande, and now he has been welcomed by the leader of the world’s most important economy as an ally in promoting expansionary
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard brings us an interesting article dealing with the speculation of agricultural land.Speculators like rich hedge funds and billionaires have been buying up large chunks of foreign agricultural land in order to speculate on the hunger that a growing and more affluent world population will bring. Combine this growing demand with the destruction of existing productive land by