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growth is growth is growth

46 replies

justcross · 01/11/2011 14:57

Come on you moany lot! 0.3% is better than 0 or minus surely! We have to get out of this mindset that we are still swanning around in the early 00's. We have had a very tough year and we are growing...ok at a small rate but still positive. The media could have said .. great! look! crap year but we've still fab is that!
Come on! A little more positive thinking and less listening to spin.

OP posts:
CogitoErgoSometimes · 01/11/2011 15:19

Isn't it 0.5%? Even better :) But you realise that you will be stamped all over for your positive thinking? The 'Flat Line Society' will be along any second.

rabbitstew · 01/11/2011 16:52

Nope, I think 0.5% is good. I think the levels of growth of the past were unrealistic and illusory. However, what does growth mean if more people are out of work or finding it difficult to afford to live comfortably than a year ago? Who or what is growing, here?

newwave · 01/11/2011 17:25

Yes let us take great comfort in the abysmal growth figure that will more than make up for the growth in youth unemployment, general unemployment and the misery being inflicted on the most hard up in society by the Tories.


justcross · 02/11/2011 11:44

But Newwave, surely it's better than no growth? Sadly attitudes like this are the problem!

OP posts:
ChickenLickn · 04/11/2011 18:51

0.5 is amazing considering what this government have done to the country. Disastrous policies.

Have we got the lowest growth in the G20? Probably.

It is not a positive thing, and they must do better.

ChickenLickn · 04/11/2011 18:54

Everything is worse. OP you are delusional, but its probably due to the stress of it.

kiola · 05/11/2011 12:51

The growth figures were reasonably good all things considered but we still have very serious economic problems both nationally and internationally so I wouldn't get too excited.

MMMarmite · 05/11/2011 15:08

Why do we have to focus on growth? It means we're using up the Earth's limited resources even faster. We should aim for a fair society where every person has a decent standard of living, and as technology improves we can each work fewer and fewer hours and spend more time with family, rather than competing to work longer and harder to accumulate bigger and better 'stuff'.

CogitoErgoSometimes · 06/11/2011 13:04

It's a gross oversimplification to equate 'growth' with 'using up resources'. Many enterprises do not rely on resources and many of them we are very good at in the UK... things like the creative industries (advertising & design), financial services & technical/medical research are big earners for this country. We need growth because we need as many people as possible to be gainfully employed. And not simply to buy 'stuff' but for reasons of self-worth and also to contribute towards those that need help. It's nice idea on paper to have fewer people working fewer hours but, without an income, the benefits of extra leisure are wiped out by the stress of making ends meet.

Solopower · 06/11/2011 14:14

We need growth for the reasons Cogito says, but not too much of it! I'm always surprised that politicians, media etc seem to assume that it's always a positive thing.

What we need far more than growth IMO is a levelling off of the world's population ...

claig · 06/11/2011 14:30

Then you should vote green

Solopower · 06/11/2011 15:06

I do, when there's a candidate.

CogitoErgoSometimes · 06/11/2011 16:05

Define 'too much' growth :) The average since the early fifties has been about 0.6% per quarter, apparently. I don't think anyone would be complaining if we got back there sooner rather than later.

claig · 06/11/2011 16:45

How does zero growth grab you?

'The same year that Limits to Growth came out, a unique election manifesto was published. Called Blueprint for New Zealand, An Alternative Future, it had two headline policies that no political party had ever advocated before ? Zero Economic Growth and Zero Population Growth. The party promoting them was the world's first national-level Green party, the Values Party, and it proposed these policies because its founders could see that already the rate of population growth, resource depletion and pollution was putting severe strains on environmental resources and amenity, on social cohesiveness and conviviality, and on the quality of life generally. By 1975 the Values Party's next election manifesto, Beyond Tomorrow, elaborated on how a 'steady-state' economy serving a stabilised population would protect the environment and create worthwhile work while providing adequate incomes and supporting social services for all.'

or how about George Monbiot's article "Bring on the recession"?

claig · 06/11/2011 16:50

Public school educated Monbiot says@

'Surely the rational policy for the governments of the rich world is now to keep growth rates as close to zero as possible'

Fortunately, there is an alternative, a party that believes that growth is good - the Tory party.

Solopower · 06/11/2011 16:58

I can't define too much growth, Cogito. And I've no idea what the overall rates are - or what these figures mean. Whose growth? Where? What?

I think the problem is that growth is uneven in different parts of the country, and some companies have done a lot of 'growing' while others have been put out of business. I'm not in favour of yet another branch of Tesco's opening up on our high street for example, and putting the local shopkeepers out of business. But is that what is called 'growth'?

On the other hand, a new company that provides proper jobs for the locals, with job security and pensions, good working conditions and employment prospects would obviously be a good thing. Unless, of course, it built huge new offices on a green-field site, say, or went out of business after a few months because its director did a runner with the profits. Would a company like that be included in the 'growth' figures?

But my main problem with 'growth' is that we can't 'grow' indefinitely. There's not enough space on the planet.

Solopower · 06/11/2011 17:01

X-posted, Claig. So yes, agree - zero growth. Plus a little redistribution of wealth, perhaps.

CogitoErgoSometimes · 06/11/2011 17:16

"I'm not in favour of yet another branch of Tesco's opening up on our high street for example, and putting the local shopkeepers out of business. But is that what is called 'growth'?"

Increases or falls in GDP are a very bald measure of economic success but it's the one we've got. If the turnover generated by your new Tesco is higher than the shopkeepers put out of business, if they are buying more UK-produced goods and fewer imported goods, then they are adding to the GDP and therefore register as growth. If the profit from the new branch of Tesco means Tesco Plc pays more corporation tax into the Exchequer, even better. A business that goes bust obviously doesn't contribute to growth.

Agree that opportunities should be spread more equally across the regions. I've long argued that the over-concentration of commerce in the South East leads to many problems including excessive property prices, traffic congestion, water-supply issues and the crime/poor health that comes from urban overcrowding.

Solopower · 06/11/2011 17:32

But I don't think the solution is for the problems in the south-east should spread to other regions. Then we would all have the excessive property prices, traffic congestion etc that you mention, Cogito.

It has to stop somewhere, doesn't it?

Solopower · 06/11/2011 17:35

And even if a new Tesco meant a growth in the GDP but an overall reduction in the quality of life of the local people, I would be against it.

However, if a growth in the GDP meant more money spent on the health service or education for everyone, then I would be happy. But that's not likely, is it?

claig · 06/11/2011 17:36

'It has to stop somewhere, doesn't it?'

But it has already stopped. We've already got practically zero growth. That's why people's pensions and living standards are being cut. Some people are probably rubbing their hands about that, but ordinary people - the 99% - aren't.

Solopower · 06/11/2011 17:38

No-one would be rubbing their hands about people's pensions and living standards being cut, Claig. And isn't too much unregulated growth in some sectors the reason they are being cut?

claig · 06/11/2011 17:41

I think you're wrong. I think some people want exactly that. I think some people have an ideological agenda which is exactly that. I think their agenda extends much, much further than that too.

Solopower · 06/11/2011 17:44

Why? Who would it benefit?

claig · 06/11/2011 17:47

It's a long story and many people can be fooled into supporting parties that help those aims. Once upon a time, those same people said "let them eat cake", today they have decided that cake is too good for the people, now they say "let them eat ants".

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