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Goodbye "Shop Til You Drop" Mentality: Renegade Band of Economists Call for "Degrowth" Economy

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  • Teresa Binstock
    http://truth-out.org/goodbye-shop-til-you-drop-mentality-renegade-band-economists-call-degrowth-economy/1324836174 Goodbye Shop Til You Drop Mentality:
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 25, 2011

      Goodbye "Shop Til You Drop" Mentality: Renegade Band of Economists Call for "Degrowth" Economy

      Friday 23 December 2011
      by: Christine MacDonald, AlterNet | News Analysis

      In this country, shopping is not just a national pastime. Consumer spending, which makes up about 70 percent of the economy, is a sort of patriotic duty -- never more so than in the last four years of economic malaise. 

      So news from the National Retail Federation that the country is on track for a record-breakingholiday shopping season -- $469.1 billion in sales, up 3.8 percent from last year -- could only be a good thing, right?
      But what if all roads to prosperity don't lead to the shopping mall, as most economists would have us believe? What if, in fact, all that shopping -- and the imperative to grow corporate profits quarter after quarter and continuously expand the economy -- was actually the root of many of the problems we face today? 

      That's the view of a renegade but increasingly influential band of economists, who say the myth of perpetual economic growth and "the iron cage of consumerism" are the chief causes of world economic dysfunction and environmental crisis -- and the biggest obstacle to our very happiness.

      Daly's work and the related "degrowth" movement have inspired books, academic conferences and documentaries. Even as such ideas struggle to gain purchase with the world's leading economists, they are blurring the lines between the economic and the environmental and acquiring new political dimensions, as well....

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