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World Economy at the Crossroads
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Do you believe that this item violates a copyright? Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. East Dane Designer Men's Fashion. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. However, one question of particular interest is how well-being can be decoupled from the requirement of economic growth.
Would there also be welfare in a situation with no economic growth? If that were possible, we would have to accept that economic growth is not the primary objective of our social policies, but simply a tool for promoting welfare. In addition, it would be important to consider that GDP, which is based on a quantitative increase in production, is becoming an increasingly ineffective indicator for measuring actual growth and even worse at measuring progress.
Various scenarios are possible
The widespread use of digital services, for instance on social media, is not statistically measured or reflected by an increase in GDP, as is the case with physical goods. Once an electronic service has been developed, tailoring it to the needs of each new user does not considerably increase the total cost of production, but it may increase overall well-being.
One scenario could see us stuck in a period of slow growth with outdated methods of operation, unable to find our way out. The inability to modernise structures will continue, and attempts will be made to endlessly repeat the same economic methods without any results. However, in another scenario, the experience of well-being becomes the most important objective of social policy.
In this scenario, well-being will increase without economic growth. This means that the economy will modernise despite small increases in GDP.
Well-being can be decoupled from emissions and the excessive use of natural resources. This means that people will experience well-being and feel that their lives are relevant, even though GDP has seen little increase. A third scenario involves decoupling economic growth from the excessive use of natural resources and emissions while also being able to enjoy economic growth. Technological development and an extensive cultural change will allow us to enjoy non-materialistic well-being and enormous economic growth.
It will be possible to produce several services essential for a good basic life at virtually no cost as a result of a powerful breakthrough in energy production and digitisation by In many ways, we will be living in an affluent society where people will find joy in meaningful activities, spending time with other people, science, art, entertainment, experiences and stimulation.
Do we aspire to growth at any cost, resulting in the pollution of the planet and the erosion of well-being? A fourth scenario is that we aspire to growth at any cost, resulting in the pollution of the planet and the erosion of well-being. In this scenario, economic structures will not be modernised, but growth is still successfully maintained and expedited. However, this is done with no regard for the ecological parameters of our planet. Ecological concerns are identified, but they are not taken seriously as parameters for economic growth.
This does not encourage companies and the economy to reform in order to achieve sustainability and, within a hundred years, ecological disasters will have become commonplace.
At the same time, some parts of the planet will become unsuitable for humans, and humanity therefore struggles with the pressure of enormous human tragedies. The competition for resources is intense and brutal. Only a very small elite enjoys the previous levels of well-being. What will progress be like in a society experiencing slow growth?
- What do we ultimately aspire to: economic growth or welfare?;
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We will focus on this in the third Next Era memorandum, which will be published early this summer. You will soon be able to read more at nextera. Find out more at www.
However, we should not forget that at the same time many parallel and conflicting developments are going on in the rest of the world. The future may look very different depending from whose point of view they are examined. In Europe, the political situation is reflected in matters such as the uncertain future of the EU. The Middle East is struggling with regional conflicts and civil wars. Despite these threats, we must also envision a future from the standpoints that we can affect by our own actions and accept that, in an uncertain world, the direction may also change quickly.
The purpose of anticipation is not to provide certain answers. It is intended to open our minds to the different development options and the kind of future we want to aim for in a complicated world.