How the obsession with economic growth encourages mindless consumption and unfettered population growth

By Nina Steele 

The economyThe irony of the whole concept of economic growth is that it relies on people to spend, spend, spend. So the more people there are to spend, the better, in the eyes of proponents of this increasingly discredited economic model. No wonder then that in spite of all the signs pointing to trouble ahead because of uncontrolled population growth, most governments are unwilling to address the issue.

The hypocrisy of those who want things to continue as they are is such that, on the one hand they encourage the population to spend in order for the economy to keep ‘growing’, and on the other hand, they lecture us on the dangers of getting into too much debt, knowing full well that debt is the very foundation on which the whole capitalist system is based.

If people became enlightened overnight and only bought things they need, as opposed to the current mindless consumption, the whole system would come crashing down. That may be bad news for the top 1% who benefit the most from the current system, but the earth would benefit greatly, since that would mean a brake on the depletion of the resources needed to produce all the consumer goods. Also, at an individual level, a substantial decrease in the amount of debt would mean less stress and more peace of mind.
I shook my head in despair, reading about yet another black Friday. Thankfully, here in the UK, the shameful sight of people fighting over flat screen TVs 3 years ago, has not repeated itself. Hopefully, this whole black Friday madness will be a thing of the past in a not so distant future.

The pursuit of economic growth at all cost is one of the greatest threats facing humanity. Greed is what lies at its core. It exists only to keep enriching the top 1% of society. Since our leaders are choosing to turn a blind eye to the obvious catastrophe ahead, the only way forward is for us the people to force change.

How do we do that? We stop buying mindlessly and for those still debating whether or not to have children, think of the damage an ever increasing population is already doing to the planet. Remember that the world resources are finite, therefore, mindless consumption and uncontrolled population growth is going to impact on all of us, one way or the other. This is not an issue for other people to solve, instead, it falls on each and every one of us to play our part.

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