Economic growth is a bad thing. Sustainability is good. This is an historic moment in American history, a turning point, at which Americans discover that they can live with less and within bounds such that clean air and water are preserved.
They may discover that solar power is the only viable way ahead. Fossil fuels are a relic.
It is possible for public and private enterprise to engineer a sustainable economy that optimizes return on national resources, providing a good life for all in the absence of poverty and with full economic and military security.
How is this possible? First, one must shed the legacy thinking that prevents addressing solutions.
America has certain obligations to citizens that come along with ensuring inalienable rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. The economy must be engineered to ensure a good life for all who earn it and help for those who can’t.
Economic performance at the right size is what is needed and that may not mean growth. Population must be managed to be in the right ratio to resources too. Think about that.
Needed is to eliminate unemployment and poverty at once. This is well within our national capacity, however may be out of reach of our current political competence.
“Budget Cuts Seen as Risk to Growth of U.S. Economy
By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM and ANNIE LOWREY
Published: February 20, 2013
WASHINGTON — The fresh round of federal spending cuts scheduled to begin next week would slow economic growth in the next year, though not nearly as much as going over the so-called fiscal cliff might have, economists said.
The cuts — a result of a policy known as sequestration — most likely would reduce growth by about one-half of a percentage point in 2013, according to a range of government and private forecasters.
That could be enough to again slow the arrival of a recovery, producing instead another year of sluggish growth and high unemployment.
Such economic forecasts are even cloudier than normal because of uncertainty about the cumulative impact of the rounds of federal spending cuts and tax increases in the last few years. Whether the government’s repeated flirtation with fiscal turmoil is causing businesses to postpone or reduce planned investment is also unclear.”