An economics of sufficiency

 

Sir, – A technological world already producing too much of practically everything does not need growth, nor can it sustain continually increasing output. But still the boffins, the economists, and politicians, who are supposed to manage these things, think of nothing except growth, and by so doing are driving the world towards possibly the greatest catastrophe ever experienced.

The world has, for the first time in history, reached an economic situation of sufficiency which requires agreed and managed output restraint, if gross overproduction is to be avoided. Continuation of growth ideology will create commercial anarchy as each state tries desperately to dispose of surplus production by dumping everywhere and anywhere it can. Trade wars will engulf every economy amid the ravages of growth economics in a world that can no longer cope with continual increase of output.

It appears economists and politicians have no concept of how much modern technology has changed the economic situation. An economic ideology, which evolved to cope as best it could with constant shortfall and inability to produce enough, is entirely unsuited to manage and direct an economic situation of great abundance and ability to produce grossly too much. There is also great need to address the consequence of work elimination; how can employment be sustained despite decreasing requirement for human labour? If global economics is to survive, there is urgent need to move towards an economics of sufficiency and forget the stupid idea that we can keep growing and working forever.

Early indications in 2019 are beginning to show just how fragile economic growth has become, despite the trillions thrown at stimulus. Economic activity has become so globalised that no area will escape the consequences of major upheaval which is likely to rock society, democracy and civilisation itself, to the very core.

Global economic collapse is inevitable in the very close future if we do not move from the stupidity of growth economics to the wonderful triumph of sufficiency. – Yours, etc,

PADRAIC NEARY,

Tubbercurry,

Co Sligo.