Economy without growth

meetlintThe current economy needs growth. There are several reasons for this addiction, such as.

  • Production gets ever more efficient. We produce more with less, every day. Originally production is meant to provide our wants. Now our wants need to continuously grow to keep production and employment.
  • We need a certain inflation in order to be stimulated to buy now, and for our pensions we need investments that grow at least to cover inflation.

In periods of no growth or even slowing down of growth, the economy plunges into crisis.
The current economical crisis demonstrates clearly our dependence on growth. The only way out of the crisis seems to be to stimulate consumption and production.
But we all know that we cannot keep increasing our pressure on nature and earth or even on ourselves, and that we cannot keep changing the climate and depleting natural resources unpunished. Even without growth in the developed world, the emerging economies will claim their fair share and grow to an extent that earth cannot bear.

We want to investigate the following idea: We need to distinguish well being and welfare. There is an enormous hidden sustainability value, which currently is not paid for and because of this lack of value of things like clean air and water, biodiversity and the living conditions of the weak, our well being is endangered. If we would slowly add this hidden value to the economy we would provide growth, manifesting in well being. This would allow a certain crimp in welfare.

In order to add the hidden value, this needs to be determined objectively and that is what the Oiconomy project wishes to provide.
We are looking for scientific economical research to underpin this idea of an economy without growth achieved by the slow addition of the hidden value.