THE world economic outlook is pretty grim. Not only have we not come out of the 2008 crisis, but the deceleration of the Chinese “powerhouse” is now threatening to sink the global economy into a prolonged double-dip recession that may last for decades.
The Chinese debacle, just like the one in the US that started the global downturn, has been caused by the obsession with economic growth. Both bubbles overheated in the decades preceding the burst, fuelled by huge spending through the accumulation of debt. This madness was celebrated by mainstream economists, analysts, global institutions and influential media as a sign of progress: it was the golden age of growth.
It was a fake and some of us have been saying that all along. Not only did the global economy accumulate unprecedented debt, but it did so at a huge cost to society and the environment. The social debt is evident in the rise of inequality globally and within countries. Extreme inequality in the US is well documented and China is catching up. The most recent surveys of income distribution indicate that China is among the most unequal societies in the world. Moreover, the Chinese leadership fears that the social debt will soon trigger unrest.
Read the full article on Business Day: “Growth without wellbeing brings no lasting progress”