For decades, economists have concentrated on developing countries. Growth has been the proposed panacea. Now that we are regularly using more resources than the planet can replenish, and now that development is becoming more global, many more people are advocating for lower growth. Data is now becoming available that takes the ideological debates into practical discussions because various growth and lifestyle comparisons can be made.
“How much do we really need to live long and happy lives? In the US, life expectancy is 79 years and GDP per capita is $53,000. But many countries have achieved similar life expectancy with a mere fraction of this income.” – The Guardian
One possibility is to advocate for some countries to continue developing while also advocating for other countries to de-develop because they have overshot a possibly preferable level of consumption – without having improved quality of life. De-developing runs counter to established conventional wisdom, but innovative concepts frequently do.
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