Growth means money, not happiness or sustainability. By GDP-per-head, the United States outranks all EU nations, bar Ireland and Luxembourg. Toss other factors into the standard-of-living mix – wellbeing, equality, longevity, environmental impact – and the US slides down the table, coming 108th out of 140 nations in the Happy Planet Index.

Critics argue that the current growth model is simply not sustainable. According to some, we actually need to shrink the economy to save the planet. De-growth, according to its advocates, is the only way to prevent catastrophic climate change and exhaustion of the world’s resources. An economic growth rate of 3 or 4 percent a year means a doubling of human consumption every 20 years. By some estimates we will need two Earths to keep us going by 2030.

Yet the world does not want to stay poor. Billions in Asia, Africa and Latin America are aspiring to own iPads, air-conditioning and flat-screen TVs. Can the rich world just call time on growth at the very moment the citizens of emerging economies are poised to enjoy benefits Westerners now take for granted? In China, the embrace of the market saw over half-a-billion people pulled from poverty between 1981 and 2007. De-growth would mean the poor staying poor.

What do our readers think? We had a comment from Tom arguing that part of the problem is how we measure success. Economic growth is, according to Tom, the wrong way to measure progress; there are other factors, such as social and environmental costs, that should be measured as well.

To get a response, we spoke to Paul Allin, co-author of the book “The Wellbeing of Nations” and a visiting professor at Imperial College London. His research interests include the measurement of national wellbeing, as well as measures that go beyond traditional economic statistics such as GDP to include quality of life and environmental sustainability. What would he say to Tom?

I agree very much with what Tom says. Indeed, many people are already saying those sorts of things. I get back to the Stiglitz and Fitoussi report published in 2010: “Mismeasuring Our Lives – Why GDP Doesn’t Add Up”. They argued for a wider spread of measures to be taken into consideration.

In fact, wider measures of progress are already available. It’s not that GDP is the only thing published by statisticians, it’s just that GDP gets a lot of media attention. Here in the UK, for example, people forget that the Office for National Statistics already puts out wider measures of economic wellbeing and measures of the state of the environment. All of these were brought together in the UK under a programme called “Measuring National Wellbeing”. So, having the measures is not sufficient – we actually have to do something with those measures.

To get another reaction, we also spoke to Alessandro Magnoli Bocchi, founder and CEO of Foresight Advisors and a former senior economist with the World Bank. What would he say to Tom?

Tom is right. We need to measure success in multiple ways. Many indicators should be taken into consideration and GDP is one. We should not abandon GDP; it is a necessary measure of success, but it is not sufficient on its own.

First of all, we need to know what kind of society we want to build. Then success is the degree of achievement of that goal. So, I take from Tom that the society he wants to build is one that still grows, so GDP is still important. But it’s got to be inclusive growth, so the Gini coefficient is important. It has to have low levels of pollution, and high levels of education, health, and gender equality, so the Millennium Development Goals are important. So, I’m saying that GDP is important, but then you have to add other things.

Tom is right, but there are already people who are thinking about this. There have been institutions such as the World Bank that have adopted a multi-formed approach to measuring success. If the objective is to build an inclusive and more equal society that still grows, we need to consider all of the above. If you look only at GDP you risk having an incomplete picture, but at the same time you cannot ignore GDP.

We also had a comment from Peter, who believes that low growth isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He believes Europe doesn’t need to grow more then 2% per annum to remain prosperous. In fact, Peter argues that low growth could even be beneficial, helping to limit the amount of natural resources we consume. Is Peter right?

I don’t think we, as yet, know the precise values of what growth rates should be. I would take a broader view and say we need to look at a wider set of measures and see what we’re doing to the environment in our own country and around the world, and a good way of doing that is to use a broader set of measures that are used internationally. The United Nations is trying to do that under its Sustainable Development Goals. So, the principle is certainly to take a broader look at all these issues. I don’t think I’m in a position to be able to say what any individual country’s growth rate should be. That’s more for governments to work out on the basis of a broader set of measures.

Finally, what would Alessandro Magnoli Bocchi say to Peter’s comment? Would he agree that there are benefits to low growth?

No, I disagree with Peter. Growth is needed for convergence. Developing countries need to grow in order to catch-up in terms of living standards. If you really want a society with growth, wealth, inclusiveness, good hospitals and schools, you need to be wealthy so you need to grow. Go and try to explain to a mother from the Amazon, or Kosovo, or Russia that their children should not have the same levels of education and health as others because somebody decided that too much growth is bad, and they probably would not vote for Peter in elections. They would be right.

When growth is fast, then income inequality rises. This is one of the costs of fast growth. But to remedy that we have policies. Government should regulate fast growth and make sure the Geni coefficient doesn’t deteriorate.

But to say “We are rich, let’s grow at 2%” is a complacent view. If you are rich, you attract migrants, so you cannot be growing at 2% if you need to absorb millions of migrants. Society is constantly changing. There is immigration, there is ageing, there are new needs. So a static view is the wrong one to have. We need a dynamic view, and we should always have some growth to meet those changes.

Should we focus less on economic growth and more on wellbeing? Can too much growth be a bad thing? Are there benefits to focusing less on growth and more on environmental sustainability? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Hamza Butt
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165 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Diaconu George Razvan

    absolutely , the economic parameters monitored for the “states of the economy” are ok , they can be improved for a better reflection. But we did not take into discussion too much thing that are not directly related to economy : health , stress , living conditions ( please add.).

  2. avatar
    Paweł Kunio

    Yep, destroy the western european economies and lead the states into situation where You will be no longer able to keep up the high welfare just dont force the eastern europe to walk with You on path leading to self-destruction.

    • avatar
      Jay Tee

      It said “less on”…not “ignore” …trying reading carefully before commenting.

    • avatar
      Paweł Kunio

      With less focus on growth than on well being one will lose both. What the hell happened to western protestant merit of hard work.

  3. avatar
    Gerry Mavrie-Yanaki

    Economic growth creates the conditions for well being. Greece requires €470 billion in economic growth to acquire the well being living standards of the 1st arrondissement of Paris.

    • avatar
      Bruno Conte

      It depends on what is the meaning of “living standards”.

  4. avatar
    Craig Willy

    Absolutely: consumerism will not make us happy. We should aim for well-spent leisure, not infinite “wealth.”

    • avatar
      David Haston

      Still going to buy my lottery ticket.

  5. avatar
    Luigi Monteferrante

    Wellbeing? Does it include a respectable salary, safe working conditions, ongoing education, opportunity, short/flexible hours, affordable housing, short commutes, parks, playgrounds, free museums, and related?

    • avatar
      Franck Legon

      In my opinion, it’s what defines wellbeing.

  6. avatar
    Dóris Cavalcanti

    Who will pay for the well being? Happiness means health, shelter, security, comfort etc, and NOTHING is for free, NOTHING falls ready from the sky as a blessings, besides that EVERYTHING is and will become more and more expensive and harder because the population growth, Africa alone will more than double its population until 2050 according to UN projections. How to feed this lot of people???

    • avatar
      Bianca Cornelia Gisella Sognante

      The grandfather of capitalism himself, Adam Smith, predicted that humankind will eventually reach a point where economic growth is not possible anymore due to both limited ressources and a satiation of consumer demand. The “steady state” economy, however, is not necessarily the end of economic prosperity. the pertinent question is: How is the wealth, that will still be produced (economic activity will not stop, we will simply continue to produce and consum on more or less the same level year after year instead of being forced to contunuously accelerate consumption in order to keep the level of good produced and services demananded 1-2% higher every year) will be distributed. If we manage to transition to a more solidary economy, we will very well be able to keep production and consuption at a steady, sustainable level and still benefit from a comfortable life. Smith actually saw not the pitiful end, but in fact, the final goal of capitalism: reaching a state of economy and society where we litterally “have everything we need” and may thus exit the tormenting rat race of selling more than our neighbour and engage more in what he considered the true purpose of the human being – philosophy, creativity, music etc. This state may, indeed, be reached at a different pace for developed and currently still developing countries.

    • avatar
      Dóris Cavalcanti

      If everyone just wants to live only with the basic necessary, this never will happen.

    • avatar
      Marko Jurić

      SAD u prvih 15 na global happiness scaleu. Ispred jedne Njemačke npr.

  7. avatar
    George Frehden

    Is not so hard ! to have wellbeing must have economic growth!If but if you are roumanian you can have wellbeing as much as you need only if you have job for government , or low enforcement, political party, or if you stolen other wellbeing , or have job as a specialist for EU! Viva capitalist justice!

  8. avatar
    George Frehden

    Is not so hard ! to have wellbeing must have economic growth!If but if you are roumanian you can have wellbeing as much as you need only if you have job for government , or low enforcement, political party, or if you stolen other wellbeing , or have job as a specialist for EU! Viva capitalist justice!

  9. avatar
    George Frehden

    Is not so hard ! to have wellbeing must have economic growth!If but if you are roumanian you can have wellbeing as much as you need only if you have job for government , or low enforcement, political party, or if you stolen other wellbeing , or have job as a specialist for EU! Viva capitalist justice!

  10. avatar
    George Frehden

    Is not so hard ! to have wellbeing must have economic growth!If but if you are roumanian you can have wellbeing as much as you need only if you have job for government , or low enforcement, political party, or if you stolen other wellbeing , or have job as a specialist for EU! Viva capitalist justice!

  11. avatar
    George Frehden

    Is not so hard ! to have wellbeing must have economic growth!If but if you are roumanian you can have wellbeing as much as you need only if you have job for government , or low enforcement, political party, or if you stolen other wellbeing , or have job as a specialist for EU! Viva capitalist justice!

  12. avatar
    George Frehden

    Is not so hard ! to have wellbeing must have economic growth!If but if you are roumanian you can have wellbeing as much as you need only if you have job for government , or low enforcement, political party, or if you stolen other wellbeing , or have job as a specialist for EU! Viva capitalist justice!

  13. avatar
    Franck Legon

    Of course, we should look for affordable land owning with the familial security it gives, without all the taxes on it to support economic growth for the only sake of a few shareholders profits. Growth that makes eveyone a proletar-consummer with no security or hope for a better life through work and its deserved fruits from generation to generation is a suicide.

  14. avatar
    Cristian Ruiz Altaba

    As an outsider but servant to Economy, may I add a grain of salt from environmental ecology. Money, or GPD, is just currency. The issue is what kind of wealth we want to build upon. It is surely easy to get a grant in Germany to speak about keeping the economy low, especially after ransacking (twice, we know some history) the Greek banks. It is difficult, in exchange, to develop a zero-growth paradigm when children all around you are dying of malaria. In my worldview, denying a decent livelihood is just a form of colonial violence –no matter how progressive one wants to appear. The issue, I guess, is how to make money, lots of money, out of the environmental problems we need to solve. Turning brute-force productivity into an economy of knowledge, I guess.

  15. avatar
    Jay Tee

    Automation is going to kill the economy as we know it. And all that will be left is a focus on personal improvement/well-being. Then we will see the sociopaths out in the light of the day. Eexposed as the empty/shallow/twisted/morally bankrupt/tramatized/deeply insecure pathetic wretches that they are. Stripped of their titles and “Prestige” they will be compared on a human level. I think many are in for a shock.

  16. avatar
    randomguy2017

    Well being , can mean many many different things.

    I prefer traditional families, and helping the majority.
    but also aiding poor.

    Others prefer lbgt, migrants, and helping the minority,
    while ignoring the majority.

  17. avatar
    Carl Glover

    Or more mass un-employment and decline in living standards, the EU(SSR)s biggest liberty.

  18. avatar
    Carl Glover

    The only ‘idiots’ are the naive, self righteous, un-informed ones that support the parasitic, communist EU(SSR) dictatorship and all it’s propaganda, now those people are the real ‘Idiots’. Usually leftwing liberal types that have never accomplished a thing during their existences….

  19. avatar
    Carl Glover

    The only ‘idiots’ are the naive, self righteous, un-informed ones that support the parasitic, communist EU(SSR) dictatorship and all it’s propaganda, now those people are the real ‘Idiots’. Usually leftwing liberal types that have never accomplished a thing during their existences….

  20. avatar
    Carl Glover

    The only ‘idiots’ are the naive, self righteous, un-informed ones that support the parasitic, communist EU(SSR) dictatorship and all it’s propaganda, now those people are the real ‘Idiots’. Usually leftwing liberal types that have never accomplished a thing during their existences….

  21. avatar
    Carl Glover

    The only ‘idiots’ are the naive, self righteous, un-informed ones that support the parasitic, communist EU(SSR) dictatorship and all it’s propaganda, now those people are the real ‘Idiots’. Usually leftwing liberal types that have never accomplished a thing during their existences….

  22. avatar
    Carl Glover

    The only ‘idiots’ are the naive, self righteous, un-informed ones that support the parasitic, communist EU(SSR) dictatorship and all it’s propaganda, now those people are the real ‘Idiots’. Usually leftwing liberal types that have never accomplished a thing during their existences….

  23. avatar
    Luís Estanqueiro

    Financial Growth is one of the greatest boosts to wellbeing of a country’s population. Those two often come hand-in-hand. Never lose focus of that.

  24. avatar
    Zé Miranda

    Being able to produce enough amount of wealth in a relatively short amount of time (30, 35h per week) is absolutely necessary to living a happy life. Noone is truly happy not having money to pay rent or education. You don’t need to be rich to be happy but it is certainly almost impossible being happy and poor and the same time.

  25. avatar
    Boyan Taksirov

    Until current paradigm and values of having more money and more power than others is prevailing, we can’t build a sustainable and stable future.

    No state will restrict its growth, if there is no guarantee that others will do that.
    This comes from human psychology. Better future ecologic disaster, in undefined time terms, than losing an advantage now. Look at the spreading of the nuclear power industry, even the spreading of the nuclear weapons. No state wants to fall off the deck, facing uncertain and possibly poor future.The competition is cruel.

    The same is true for individuals as well. Who will decide not to strive for the money, when others are doing in, and having their richer and more exciting lives. And the peace of mind, of course, because they don’t live month by month, warring about everyday issues, their children’s future, credits, loans, expenses and so on. Most people are stressed and discontent and will seize every opportunity to improve their lives.

    The system is designed like that, in order the individual to be disturbed with so many things, in order his consciousness to be on the lower levels on Maslow’s pyramid and developing a higher state of consciousness to be less likely. In this situation, the elites can control the masses with economical, sociological and social, psychological, cultural, legal and other means.

    Otherwise, a better world is definitely possible. More social justice, more equality, more democracy, better and accessible healthcare and education, wiser and better functioning social states, more social security, result to less exploitation, less tension, less greed. But, that must be taken from the elites, not allowing them to shape the societies and the world anymore.

  26. avatar
    La F Ham

    Well your wealth is your health so yerrr income and job security are still important

  27. avatar
    Ivan Burrows

    This is the problem wit the left, they fail to realise that without economic growth there is no well-being. But then basic economics have no place in left wing ideology.

    • avatar
      André Pais

      Yes, because you can buy happiness and well being, and money is all that matters

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      André Pais Try going to an hospital the next time you are ill if there is no money to build and staff the hospital, see how long you last. Strange that the crazy left always complain about capitalism on a social media platform created by capitalism, but then no one said the left are intelligent.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Alfonso Martìnez Montoya That’s right, Capitalism works & socialism doesn’t.

  28. avatar
    Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

    Yeap ! At the and of the day that’s what matter the most be healthy happy and have time to spend with the ones you love…fancy cars and apatments are useless wothless if your life is emty

  29. avatar
    Oli Lau

    You should more on your own well being rather than dictating other behaviours through the state and endless laws. Live and let live.

  30. avatar
    James Harris

    It’s about balance. Due to the capitalist mindset, we prioritise societal progress/economic profit so much we slave away at our jobs improving the lives of the corrupt 1%, subsequently neglecting our happiness and wellbeing. But what’s the point of an advanced, successful society if everyone is unhappy?

  31. avatar
    Nick Komselis

    The question is very tricky. Economic growth means that EU has to turn in to something else than the taxing Auschwitz it has become since its birth. Economic growth means less taxes and more wellbeing for the younger and most productive citizens of Europe. Unfortunately the Bureaucrats and their proteges who keep them in power have a different opinion. They want the “wellbeing” distributed by them to their favourite people. And for that wellbeing the younger Europeans have to pay with their future. Either we send them to hell or they will destroy whatever is left from our lives.

  32. avatar
    Rosy Forlenza

    we should focus on the social pact, only then can we provide a minimal safety net and rights for our citizens, growth is one thing, but with it has come, tax evasion and avoidance, erosion of labour rights and investment in h ealth and education and a massive increase in homelessness, the EU has no legislation for tenants or house purchasers, and does not insist on an ombudsman service, in each country, does not insist on proper and comprehensive citizens information centres in all Eu languages (which could be available on the EU home page), does not insist and recourse to extra state ombudsman services where the host country has failed in relation to consumer, tenant, and house purchase rights, …why is that so difficult? Equally zero hour contracts need to be banned across the Union (stuff Amazon and their ilk), and a minimum but wide corporate tax band. Small start ups should not have to register for VAT until a minimal gross income has been achieved , again allowing for flexibility….you want growth, then growth also needs to come from the bottom up as well as the top down. That would provide more opportunity, more happiness, more vareity, better qualikty goods, and free us from the U.S. and Chinese yoke of poor labour relations and shoddy goods.

  33. avatar
    Luís Estanqueiro

    I just want to remind everyone that economic growth leads to well-being. Focusing too much on Wellbeing, however, doesn’t.

  34. avatar
    Joeri Spitaels

    We need both continuous economic growth and world population reduction. Less people means happier, safer and wealthier people on average. Population reduction is a natural consequence of everybody voluntarily choosing to have at most 2 kids. Cheap or free birth control is the most efficient and cost effective climate protection.

  35. avatar
    Luca Panofsky

    What kind of question is that? First, I would try to make Europe something which makes sense. Here you get well being and growth.

    • avatar
      George Guydosh

      The actual western parts of Europe are proof of having both.

    • avatar
      カメニャク マリオ

      Conversely economic growth can also happen if you first concentrate on wellbeing.

  36. avatar
    Ivan Burrows

    You can’t have ‘wellbeing’ without economic growth, capitalism provides all the services and freedom required for a good & happy life. If you doubt it just have a look at non capitalist Nations.

    • avatar
      Simeon Milanov

      M8, you do realise it’s pointless to argue about this? Most people in continental Europe are already brainwashed Libs & Commies. Those among us who haven’t fallen for Commie tricks are too few. In a decade or two from now, the EU will be a state with a planned socialist economy and one ideology.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Simeon Milanov Which in part is why we are leaving the pointless EU dictatorship :)

    • avatar
      Takis Karpoutzoglou

      Andreea Iliescu too much is never enough…But now we’re talking about the minimum.

    • avatar
      George Guydosh

      I guess there are some Germans in the debatingeurope and they are justifying that culture with the need for economic prowess. Like northern and western Europe would not have those attributes without “ze predictability” of a caged chicken

    • avatar
      Takis Karpoutzoglou

      George Guydosh I am nationality blind, si I cannot really read your point

  37. avatar
    Mat Kroon Gutiérrez

    The frenetic economic growth has not brought happiness… It’s actually proving a disaster for the environment and makes people more and more angry and selfish. No wonder the burnout disorder, as one of many other syndroms like depression, bowel disorders …, has spread so rapidly in the western world. You need not a lot of money to feel happy. If you feel otherwise, then your life must be so borring and you must be so lonely…

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      And yet world poverty as been halved since 1989 & people are living longer & healthier lives. You can always find fault with a system but to claim capitalism has not brought happiness is to miss understand both capitalism and happiness.

    • avatar
      Mat Kroon Gutiérrez

      The fact that 1% of the planet concentrates more than 80% of world wealth does not help make your argument relying on a causal association between capitalism and happiness a reasonable one, indeed makes you sound like you’re living in denial.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Mat Kroon Gutiérrez Utter rubbish, that’s just the usual socialist propaganda and as been debunked many times. The reality is the 1% don’t own anywhere near what you think they do. .

      Here is probably the most intelligent man in the USA to explain it to you, please educate yourself and stop spreading fake news.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qi8clPrg7kc&t=84s

    • avatar
      Mat Kroon Gutiérrez

      Riiight… So you know the truth, just like any of the so called “Chicago boys” and the rest is “socialist propaganda”. Well I might educate myself while you might stop hating, using “fake news” like the guy in the White House just to avoid facing the truth that money does not make you happy.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Mat Kroon Gutiérrez There is a very simple test you can do to see if money makes you happy, give it all away and see if you are less happy :) If all you do is post fake news are you really so surprised when you get called out on it ? Maybe you need some time in your safe space to protect yourself from the nasty real world.

  38. avatar
    George Guydosh

    The way the article title sounds it’s entirely a fake question. You can have both as the real western Europe is proof of it.

  39. avatar
    Edita Buržinskaitė

    FInancial well-being and happiness in the society as it is are closely related. You’re not going to be terribly happy if you half-starve and live in constant poverty.

    • avatar
      Gaotu Davids

      Exactly what I was thinking, lets be limitless not limited in our thinking.

  40. avatar
    Simeon Milanov

    Wellbeing depends on one’s own efforts. There is an old saying, ”Those who don’t want to work, should not eat.”

  41. avatar
    Dionìs KC

    Especially now, after
    – our great grandfathers sold their farms and moved to the city to work in industry,
    – industry then moved abroad leaving millions jobless, living in homes they don’t own,
    now it is precisely the moment to stop caring about economical situation/growth/etc.

    • avatar
      Manuel

      And without wellbeing you will not have economic growth…

    • avatar
      Ivan

      Manuel Then the question asked by debating Europe is idiotic when applied to the West.

    • avatar
      Arnout

      Without wellbeing you have no economic growth. Its not this black n white.

    • avatar
      Ivan

      Arnout Posthumus Tell that to the 3rd world comrade.

    • avatar
      Arnout

      Soon the uk will be part of that world so im kinda doing so :D

  42. avatar
    Julia

    Not only well being but quality of life. Humans are beings of nature who are maladapted to this created economic environment that only serves a few members of the human race at the expense of the many. What kind of species are we? Selfish, cruel and harmful to other humans and the environment. It is time to create a system that guarantees the wellbeing of all. It is time to use knowledge wisely and sustainably instead of soley for profits of shareholders. It is time to care about peoples health instead of creating, maintaining and profiting from ill health. It is time to stop this selfishness and start caring about all humanity and our environment.

  43. avatar
    David

    Our economic system should be compatible with life, and the current system of “infinite growth” it isn’t. We need something like what is described in the book “Doughnut economics” by Kate Raworth, where the basic material needs of the society are covered, but without reaching the current point of self-destruction (by obliterating the ecosystems that we need for our survival as species). Wellbeing is possible without economic growth. Growth for the sake of growth is the philosophy of cancer cells.

  44. avatar
    Arnout

    Ofcourse. Wealth has no use if it isnt contrubuting to welbeing.

  45. avatar
    Marco Peel

    GDP will tell you it is more productive to build prisons than schools and more profitable to build bombs than hospitals. It is a partial measure as long as it doesn’t include all real costs and doesn’t reflect all real benefits.
    That said, growth is necessary where growth is necessary. People who struggle with finding the next decent meal or how to pay the bills need economic growth. Once material needs are met, they will look for wellbeing, personal and cultural growth etc. You cannot fill a belly with song, and you cannot buy friendship. Material needs require material tools, immaterial needs require immaterial skills. We do need economic growth in the EU, but in the forgotten parts of Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, not in the banks of Frankfurt and London or the fiscal hideouts of transnational anonymous corporations.
    And Mr. Bocchi comment that we need growth in Europe to take in more immigrants is plain stupid. The countries these people come from need economic growth that is fairly distributed so they can stay and prosper at home. Economists who still argue populations need to grow to sustain an economy don’t understand the concept of finite space and resources, and haven’t caught on to the fact that the modern economy no longer depends on underpaid labour.

  46. avatar
    Florin

    Just stay quiet for a little while longer… Everyone is almost reduced to mindless sheep… Then take their cash away, put rfid chips in their bodies and calk it a day… They will happy all of the sudden… Or at least they will stop complaining…

  47. avatar
    Julia

    The well being of all humanity should be guaranteed. It is pure evil to allow global human suffering when we can so easily ensure the wellbeing of all humanity. Since money is created by debt, a global debt can be created to cover every humans basic needs. Then a debt jubilee can delete that debt at the strike of a computer key. Then capitalism can provide non-essentials goods and those that desire them can work to be able to buy them.

  48. avatar
    Sophie

    I would suggest support for actions leading to reusing, reducing, recycling enducing de facto less consumption and therefore not needing that infinite growth as this model is riding us to a fall.

  49. avatar
    Anelia

    All Mediterranean countries were on economical growth and people were more wellbeing before the globalist to create this bloodsucking eu machine!

  50. avatar
    Rob

    Focus on direct democracy and let people choose.

  51. avatar
    Patrizia

    Strange question? Why not both? What about economics for wellbeing?

  52. avatar
    Christos

    Well being.. Culture… Social cohesion….. Equality….. Inclusion…. A constant strife for ever increasing economic growth, only harms our societies, our health, the environment and our relationship with neighboring nations…!! Plus it is biased and unfair. Some cultures are not economic growth oriented, rather tradition oriented…. Not all have adopted the Protestant AngloSaxon ethos and why should they? Is it worth it?

  53. avatar
    Saurav

    Well being —if it is a ‘spiritual well being’—-then, less focus on economic growth….matters …Otherwise, well being in this material world is only achievable via shared economic growth…

  54. avatar
    Julia

    It shouldn’t stop focusing on economic growth. However there is a vital need to focus on well being. Also the local economic growth of each member country needs to be addressed ASAP by equal EU-wide minimum wages and minimum benefits. Otherwise you get EU citizens flocking to only rich EU member countries and corporations only opening businesses in EU member countries with extremely low wages. This will make EU travel fairer. An unconditional basic income would help the local economy and trade thrive whilst abolishing homelessness, extreme poverty and minimizing victims of the sex trade.

  55. avatar
    Olivier

    Well being is nt your business… Focus on economic social issues and protect our borders…

    • avatar
      Kirstie

      what a ridiculous comment. Of course it os their business if the actions taken by governments negatively impacts on the wellbeing of the people who elected them.

    • avatar
      Olivier

      do you trust so much EU. They care of multinationals well being… Not ours…

  56. avatar
    Enric

    Normal people prefers wellbeing but capitalists wants economic growth so politicians focuses in the last.

  57. avatar
    Civis

    Both are connected – economic growth is a condition for wellbeing. I wouldn’t look at them in opposition.

  58. avatar
    Tanja

    Maybe both?!?!?!? A no brainer really

  59. avatar
    Eduardo

    how about the prices to stabilize according to what the families have on their disposal and not on what government and corporations have. the latter don’t buy milk or pay for home rent!

  60. avatar
    Mariusz

    If the fruits of growth would be distributed more equally instead of being siphoned by a handful of people then we wouldn’t need to declare an epidemic of depression and anxiety and people would take care of their own wellbeing.

  61. avatar
    jthk

    Economic growth can be slow down but capitalist accumulation of profit is without end. How to eliminate capitalist exploitation so that the working class can enjoy the huge profit of the enterprise is very important. In this way, we shall return to the ideological dispute between liberal democracy and socialism. More importantly, sustainability and economic growth are not necessarily contradictory to each other. By shrinking economic growth, we can only delay the arrive of the undesirable outcomes. It probably needs global efforts to work out sustainable growth of the earth planet. Unfortunately, some people are still trying to break up EU.

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