Economic growth is the real third rail of American politics. Question it and you are immediately branded an outsider (or even a Marxist). Who doesn't want a rising tide that lifts all boats? Well, this is a good question to ask, and author Brian Czech bravely asks it, and many others.
Eric Zencey went to graduate school 30 years ago with three big questions: "What have we done to the planet? What were we thinking? And what should we be thinking instead?" What we were thinking, he says, is bad economic theory -- and that's what he's been working to change.
The world doesn't need to stop growing in order to avoid inequality and protect the planet. Rather, smart policy choices can mean that more people can reap the benefits of growth, and for the long run.
In all probability, there will never be anything close to a global "super committee" to resolve our ecological debt crisis. We will have to rely upon a loosely-knit international framework to ward off any kind of ecological collapse. Let's hope it's enough.
"We need to balance the budget in order to grow the economy." In the midst of the federal budget debt ceiling food fight, this may be one of the only ideas both political parties can more or less agree on.