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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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Now it's the middle class's turn to feel the employment earthquake

Now it's the middle class's turn to feel the employment earthquake | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Christina Patterson: The brave new digital world is supposed to set us free. But if work is 'shared', not paid, who pays the bills?
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Interesting insights on the future (or lack of it) of the middle classes. I like her views on "guru" Jeremy Rifkin.

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Prosperity with growth: economic growth, climate change and environmental limits

This interesting working paper written by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment concludes that "

continued economic growth is feasible and desirable, although not without significant changes in its characteristics.

 

These changes need to involve ultimately the reduction of the rate of material output, with continued growth in value being generated by expansion in the ‘intellectual economy’."

 

The Achilles heel of this thought-provoking paper lies in the fact that it starts from the fallacy that the "intellectuel economy" (the knowledge economy) has little or no material and resource implications.

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Building a civil economy

"The current crisis of global capitalism provides a unique opportunity to chart an alternative to the complicit collusion of central states and free markets that characterise liberal political economy. From this perspective, the proposed shift of focus from a self-interested pursuit of power or wealth (or both at once) to the quest for the common good opens the way for transforming modern economics. The alternative that this essay has outlined is a ‘civil economy’ whereby markets and states are embedded in the social relations and civic bonds that constitute society."

 

At OpenDemocracy Adrian Pabst sketches the contours of an alternative economy beyond free market and state, beyond austerity and neo-Keynesianism.

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Rio+20: Tim Jackson on how fear led world leaders to betray green economy

Rio+20: Tim Jackson on how fear led world leaders to betray green economy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The author of Prosperity Without Growth says that despite a staggering lack of responsibility from politicians, there is still a route to a better economic system...

 

Critical assessment in the Guardian by UK professor Tim Jackson.

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L’insoutenable indicateur global de richesses (IWI) des Nations Unies

L’insoutenable indicateur global de richesses (IWI) des Nations Unies | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Very critical analysis by French economist Jean Gadrey of the latest UNEP tool to measure sustainability, the Inclusive Wealth Index.

 

Gadrey's conclusion: "Un indicateur de plus dans le concert international. Un de plus aussi pour nous faire prendre des vessies insoutenables pour des lanternes vertes. Il figure dans un énorme rapport mis au point par des composants ou des satellites des Nations Unies, dont le PNUE (programme des Nations Unies pour l’environnement), institution dont les évolutions récentes sont inquiétantes. On a parlé, y compris sur ce blog, de « capture » des Nations Unies par le monde des affaires. Ici, il s’agit plutôt de capture par les méthodes des économistes néoclassiques."

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Tim Jackson: Let’s Be Less Productive

Tim Jackson: Let’s Be Less Productive | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The relentless drive for productivity may have some limits; if our economies don’t continue to expand, we risk putting people out of work.

 

Excellent article by Tim Jackson ("Prosperity without growth") pleading for less productivity and more quality of life to deal with our growth crisis.

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Where Economic and Environmental Prosperity Meet

Where Economic and Environmental Prosperity Meet | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Overdeveloped countries, including the United States, need to adopt a strategy of economic "degrowth" to limit ecological collapse and severe climate shifts. This does not mean stagnating economic development; it means cutting down on waste and overcoming the social pressure to accumulate material wealth at the expense of others' well-being.

 

Short summary of the Worldwatch Institute's State of the World 2012: Moving towards Sustainable Prosperity".

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Redefining Progress to meet Human Needs

Redefining Progress to meet Human Needs | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Good contribution by Daniela Kolbe (SPD Member of Parliament in Germany and Chairwoman of the Bundestag Enquete Commission on Growth, Prosperity and Quality of Life) on the Beyond GDP debate.

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UN's Global Sustainability Panel presents blueprint for low-carbon prosperity

UN's Global Sustainability Panel presents blueprint for low-carbon prosperity | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The 22-member Panel, established by the Secretary-General in August 2010 to formulate a new blueprint for sustainable development and low-carbon prosperity, was co-chaired by Finnish President Tarja Halonen and South African President Jacob Zuma.

 

The Panel's final report, "Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing", contains 56 recommendations to put sustainable development into practice and to mainstream it into economic policy as quickly as possible.

 

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Vergötterung des BIP – Wider den Hurrapatriotismus der Wachstumsfetischisten

Vergötterung des BIP – Wider den Hurrapatriotismus der Wachstumsfetischisten | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Wie ein Kaninchen starren wir auf die Schlange namens "Bruttoinlandsprodukt". Doch der Fetisch "Wachstum" ist nicht zu halten, sagen Experten: Wie gut es einem Land wirtschaftlich gehe, muss anders bemessen werden.

Good article in Germany's Süddeutsche on the Beyond GDP debate.

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When Wealth Disappears

When Wealth Disappears | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
We are reaching end times for Western affluence. We must accept economic honesty and recognize that promises made during good times can no longer be easily kept.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Brilliant must-read article from NY Times.

"In his “Future of an Illusion,” Sigmund Freud argued that the faithful clung to God’s existence in the absence of evidence because the alternative — an empty void — was so much worse. Modern beliefs about economic prospects are not so different. Policy makers simply pray for a strong recovery. They opt for the illusion because the reality is too bleak to bear. But as the current fiscal crisis demonstrates, facing the pain will not be easy. And the waking up from our collective illusions has barely begun."

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Monti, Hollande stress need for economic growth

Monti, Hollande stress need for economic growth | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Italian premier Mario Monti and French leader Francois Hollande on Tuesday said Europe must urgently restore economic growth and create jobs as part of a wider plan to safeguard the 17-country euro currency union.

 

Politically elected or technocrat, left or right - Europe's elites remain stuck in old and failed ideologies (growth as the miracle cure) instead of preparing for the Prosperous Way Down.

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"The Bad Society"

"The Bad Society" | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The attitude of indifference to income distribution is in fact a recipe for economic growth without end, with the rich, very rich, and super-rich drawing ever further ahead of the rest. This must be wrong for moral and even practical reasons. In moral terms, it puts the prospect of the good life perpetually beyond reach for most people. And, in practical terms, it is bound to destroy the social cohesion on which democracy – or, indeed, any type of peaceful, contented society – ultimately rests."

 

Good article in Project Syndicate by Robert Skidelsky on inequality and its effects on prosperity, the "good life" and democracy.

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Rio+20: Jeffrey Sachs on how business destroyed democracy and virtuous life

Rio+20: Jeffrey Sachs on how business destroyed democracy and virtuous life | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The world famous economist on corporate control, the search for happiness and why a multi-disciplinary approach is the only way to find solutions to sustainability challenges...

 

Excellent article from the Guardian's Sustainable Business blog.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, March 11, 2014 2:56 PM

It will be taken back.

 

Society will either die or not stand for this stuff.  There is no room for a middle way between survival and death.

 

Think about it.

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New Inclusive Wealth Index shows lower growth and future risks for major economies

"Some large economies show significantly lower growth when natural assets such as forests and water are factored into growth indicators, an index showed on Sunday, a few days before an international sustainability summit starts in Rio de Janeiro."

 

Interesting new report from two of the UN's environmental institutions shows that the Beyond GDP debate needs more and faster progress.

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‘EU must stick with austerity’

‘EU must stick with austerity’ | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The European Union's fresh push for growth must not compromise its drive for austerity, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said Thursday, as he joined leading EU politicians in defending the bloc's sometimes unpopular belt-tightening measures." (Source The Independent Online)

 

For all the new lip service to growth we now hear from Draghi, Monti, Van Rompuy and other EU leaders, one thing is sure: the austerity leopard will not change its spots. What is meant by "putting growth centre-stage" will be nothing more or less than more labour deregulation. What we really need is a debate on prosperity and how to protect it, social redistribution and radical reform of the financial sector.

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The 1% Strike Back

"The richest 1 percent of Americans capture 93 percent of all income growth. The challenge now is not to reinflate the economy, but to build a new foundation for growth by enpowering workers and holding executives accountable for the corrosive effect on democracy of this concentration of wealth."

 

Great analysis in Open Democracy about growing inequalities in capitalism and what to do about it.

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Le contraire de l’austérité, c’est la prospérité, pas la croissance

Le contraire de l’austérité, c’est la prospérité, pas la croissance | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"On peut combattre l’austérité sans croissance quantitative perpétuelle, par une « croissance » de la qualité et de la soutenabilité de la production et de la consommation. On peut créer des emplois sans croissance globale, résorber l’excès de dette publique et financer des retraites convenables sans croissance."

 

Brilliant analysis again by French economist Jean Gadrey on his Alternatives Economiques blog. The answer to austerity is prosperity and redistribution.

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Reclaiming Brundtland in 2012

Reclaiming Brundtland in 2012 | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
As we enter the run-up to Rio+20, we need a new strategic compass that focuses on the needs and well-being of society and the planet, says Jules Peck...

 

Good analysis in the Guardian's Sustainable Business blog about the need to frame Rio+20 as a debate about the "true meaning of prosperity, through a focus on needs and wellbeing".

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