Economic growth - the challenge of solving an impossibility theorem

Thursday April 10th, 7:00 to 9:30pm

As Measured by GPD - We Have A Rock Star Economy.  So Why Are So Many People Still Struggling? And What About the Environmental Cost?

Dr. Christoph Schumacher questions the adequacy of GDP and faces the challenge of the Capitalist's paradox - an impossibility theorem.

There is a real possibility that economic growth is necessary for lasting prosperity. But at the same time, we know that our current economic growth is ecologically unsustainable. So one challenge facing economists is to develop a continuously growing system within the context of a finite environment.

Another challenge is to address the validity of GDP as a measure of prosperity.  If we believe our politicians then we should all be happy because the economy is growing. In fact, our economy in New Zealand has been nicknamed ‘the rock star’ economy. But ask yourself, despite all the things an increase in economic output has to offer – higher standard of living, new phones, TVs, car, holidays etc. – why are too many people struggling to get by? Why do we experience social injustice? Why do so many people seem unfulfilled?

In this presentation Christoph will question the concept of economic growth and GDP as a measure of growth, explore the Capitalist’s paradox - the 'economic growth impossibility theorem', show that economic growth may still be necessary to increase the prosperity of people, and offer possible solutions.

Christoph Schumacher is Professor of Innovation and Economics at Massey University and we are very pleased to have him share some ideas on an alternative economic philosophy.

Christoph will make reference to the work of Tim Jackson, author of,  "Prosperity without growth".

Location / Venue: 
The Art Room, Whangaparaoa Hall, Whangaparaoa