To transform society – as climate science insists we must – we need a new economics.
Lightly regulated corporate capitalism – a.k.a. neoliberalism – has done much to get us into this mess, with its view of the earth’s finite resources as ‘natural capital’ to be ruthlessly extracted and exploited. The economic theory underpinning this – 'neoclassical economics' – has been taught in universities and faithfully accepted by mainstream political parties for forty years. GDP is its metric; endless growth is its goal.
But this economic orthodoxy is being challenged. Doughnut economics, for example, pioneered by Kate Raworth, defines its goal as ‘thriving’ communities, living within planetary boundaries. The doughnut was recently adopted by Amsterdam; could LBHF be next?
Another big idea is degrowth, which argues that to avoid climate catastrophe (and for many other good reasons), we need to extract, produce and consume less stuff – and in the words of Jason Hickel, ‘become more’.
Bringing these ideas and others together are the Wellbeing Economic Alliance and the New Economics Foundation. There has never been a better time to get economically literate.
(click on the images for more information)
2 minute New Economics Foundation video: ‘Together we can change the rules to make the economy work for everyone’
Fairytales of Growth (47 mins, 2020) shows how economic growth has brought us close to catastrophic climate breakdown; what then are the alternatives?
David Pilling, tells how GDP came to be the all-important economic metric for governments – then thoroughly debunks it. Other metrics, it turns out, are available…
37% of UK workers believe their job is pointless. And they’re right. Could we all work less – and just at the jobs worth doing? David Graeber offers one solution to the climate crisis.
12 minute film introducing Charles Eisenstein's proposal for a return to the 'sacred economics' of gift exchange (explored in his 2011 book).