The problem with the eternal growth economy

Separating profits and nature

Note: If you find this post to be valuable, please click the little gray heart below the post title and consider sharing this with your friends (I release three newsletters every week). It really helps this newsletter get notice.

In this post:

  1. China updates

  2. The problem with the eternal growth economy

China updates

Last week, I talked about the power dynamic between US and China more specifically, US companies and China companies. Here are some updates:

Blizzard recently announced that they will be reducing the punishment for the player known as “blitzchung”. For those out of the loop, last week gaming company Blizzard announced that due to blitzchung’s pro-democratic statements on their platform, they would be suspending him from tournament events and stripping him of his tournament prize money. Yesterday, Blizzard announced that they are reducing the punishment from one year suspension and no tournament winnings to just six month suspension and he will be getting his tournament winnings after all.

Now, if only we can do something about that Taiwan flag emoji that would be great. cough Apple cough

The problem with the eternal growth economy

Taking you guys a little further back, in my 737 max article, I briefly mentioned how the eternal growth economy is problematic. So in this article, I will go more into detail about what I meant.

Let me first begin by defining economic growth. Economic growth is the increase of GDP (GDP being the total production value of all goods and services). Therefore, all increases in labor force, technology, and education contribute to economic growth. And economic growth correlates to higher quality of life (who doesn’t want that?).

However, the problem is that there is a global competition to increase not just GDP but sales, consumption, etc. Clearly, we cannot increase our consumption of resources, and burn more fossil fuels because we would then actually be driving the ship containing all of humanity into a ditch. Why? Because the Earth has limited resources. So countries have to figure out a way to separate economic growth with physical growth (meaning physical consumption of land, resources, etc). They have to become more resource efficient.

There is a study that shows that once a country passes a wealth threshold, it would generally become more efficient at using resources, and decrease their environmental impact. On the other hand, if a country passes that wealth threshold and continues to burn through resources, with no regard for resource sustainability, then the end result could just be catastrophic. The article doesn’t make it clear where that threshold is but the decrease on environmental impact idea makes sense. Tools get cheaper to make, water gets recycled, more informed people have less children, etc. However, the bottom line is clear. We have to become more woke about our economic efficiency or human well being will suffer.