Krugman's Growthism

"Sinkhole near Carlsbad, NM, in area where hundreds of oil wells surrounds the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. WIPP was America's only nuclear waste repository that recently experienced a collapsed ceiling that crushed caskets of plutonium that has been escaping from the plant since last Valentine's Day. From ("

Krugman's "GDP growthism assumes a proposition that, while true in the past, is very doubtful today in the US.

To see why it is doubtful, just consider a catalog of negative joint products whose value should be measured under the rubric of illth:

  • climate change from excess carbon in the atmosphere
  • radioactive wastes and risks of nuclear power plants
  • biodiversity loss; depleted mines; deforestation; 
  • eroded topsoil
  • dry wells, rivers and aquifers
  • the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico
  • gyres of plastic trash in the oceans
  • the ozone hole
  • exhausting and dangerous labor

"And, of course, the un-repayable debt from trying to push growth in the symbolic financial sector beyond what is possible in the real sector (not to mention military expenditures to maintain access to global resources)."


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