Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Falling UK economic growth - continuing a long term trend


Bad news for Osborne: the rate of economic growth is on a downward trend over the last 5 quarters. Luckily for him, the Tory media has given this only the briefest of mentions. Can you imagine the fuss they would have made if this trend had happened under a Green or Labour government?

It is clear that if the trend continues, we will enter another recession. Happy days.

This decline over the last 15 months is part of a longer term trend. The chart above goes back to 1980, and shows a pretty clear downward trend since 1987.

If we look back even further, to 1949, we can see a falling trend since the growth peak in 1971.

So is this all right and proper? Are economic trends leading us to a state of zero or negative growth, and will we greens be happy about it?

Not really. There is a difference between a steady state Green economy and an economy in permanent recession. Recessions mean unemployment, poverty and economic hardship. The green economy means full employment as we work on healing the damage caused to environment and society by the market failures of conventional economics. The green economy means more income equality, which means a happier, healthier society, and in increase in quality of life in exchange for a decrease in the quantity of naff stuff cluttering our houses. 

So, bad news for Osborne, but, in the long term, good news for people and planet, as the manifest failure of growthist economics leads to a turning towards real green economics.

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