Our economy is bloated and needs to shrink. Covid-19 has given us an opportunity to do this. Should we not take the opportunity it gives us?
A person who is obese needs to lose weight, for their own health's sake. Same with the economy. Some fat is good, some is useless and a lot is harmful. Same with the economy.
Emeritus Professor Andrew Basden of Salford University explains: Our GDP is a measure of human functioning, and some of that functioning is good, some is useless and a lot is harmful. We need to shrink sectors that are harmful, and we can shrink those that are useless without much pain. We should grow sectors that are good.
The good includes necessities of life, health and some education.
The useless economy can be when we pay someone to dig a hole and then pay to fill it in again, or when my neighbour and I grow carrots and sell them to each other for a fiver each rather than eating our own. Useless is when we fly abroad for holidays when we could get just as much enjoyment in the UK. Useless is when we go out for a party where everyone is stressed about impressing others and come away exhausted. Has not Covid-19 shown us that there is real enjoyment and satisfaction to be found in local activities with families? There are many 'bullshit jobs'.
Harmful is when we produce climate emissions - which the aviation and travel and logistics sectors do. Harmful is that part of the economy that perpetrates injustices. Harmful is that part of the economy that pollutes air, water and soil. Harmful can be indirect too. Harmful is that which makes us all more selfish. Harmful is boosting lifestyle aspirations to the useless and harmful. Much of the useless in the economy is also harmful.
Most sectors of the economy are a mixture of good, harmful and useless. We need to cut of their excess fat.
We must shrink those sectors of the economy that are most harmful and most useless - the aviation sector, the logistics sector, the travel sector and the hospitality sector, for example. Those are sectors that were bloated. Covid-19 has done that for us. So why is the government so keen to bloat them again?
See Youtube Moving the Global Economy Towards a New Normal, "https://youtu.be/X_Y0fEGMrNA".
This page, "abxn.org/ccge/bloated.econ.html", is an expression of part of a project to understand the links between climate change, global economy and other matters including society's beliefs and aspirations. It is designed to stimulate thinking and discourse. Comments, queries welcome.
This page is written on behalf of the CCGE Group by Andrew Basden, but the views expressed herein are his and not necessarily those of the other members of the Group. Written on the Amiga with Protext in the style of classic HTML. Copyright (c) Andrew Basden 2008 - present, but you may use this material subject to certain conditions.
Created: 3 September 2020 Last updated: