During the Great Depression, the economist John Maynard Keynes articulated the paradox of thrift: that people’s inclination when encountering hard times to spend less and save more can be disastrous for the economy overall, by stalling rather than stimulating growth.
The Chancellor George Osborne – substituting austerity for thrift – now appears to be falling victim to the same paradox on a national scale, pushing us further into recession. But, if we consider the pressures that economic growth exert on the environment, should we be attempting to restart the growth engine anyway? Should we welcome the end of growth? If so, how can we minimise the social impact of recession? And are there opportunities we can exploit to move towards a more sustainable and equitable society?
Molly Scott Cato, Professor of Strategy and Sustainability at Roehampton and Speaker on Economics for the Green Party, considers these and other questions at Cardiff Philosophy Cafe on July 17 2012, from 8.00pm.