You Cannot Just Define Away the Impossibility of Infinite Growth

More and more people in the world are questioning the possibility of human economies to grow infinitely. The ongoing destruction of global as well as regional ecosystems and the overuse of Nature’s resources are signs that something is going wrong. Nevertheless, mainstream (or neo-classical) economists – especially macroeconomists – seem not to be bothered. They still are claiming that economic growth is not only possible, it even is necessary to improve our well-being (for a critique see here). In some cases this may be true – nobody sane would argue that, let’s say, Nigeria doesn’t need economic growth. But one cannot (and should not) generalize this. Confronted with such arguments, (macro)economists either ignore them, or they answer by showing that in their models infinite growth is possible. They are just defining away the contrary. Continue reading