Growth seems to be on every one's minds these days. Growth is believed to be good; we are told that we need growth as growth leads to new jobs and many are out of work and needing employment.
It is certainly true that many people need employment. Employment gives meaning to one's life and the income is clearly necessary when we live in an uncompassionate epic of out history. Remember how the Republicans in the Senate took Obama's appointee to the Supreme Court to task for stating that she thought a judge should have compassion. No, they claimed. Compassion should be a dis qualifier, they claimed. The law has no place for compassion.
Well they were wrong then and now. A world without compassion is not a world worth living in. Bernard-Henry Levi states it well when he describes the teaching of East European rabbis that God created the world but it is our responsibility to assure that that world not fall apart. Some Republicans, it appears, are in favor of the world falling apart. Perhaps, they might imagine, it is only when the world is in horrible shape that Jesus can arrive to save us in his second coming.
Yet Jesus is a rabbi one, I suspect, that rather agrees with the rabbis Levi references.
Maybe I have been too busy reading Jefferson's bible, but whether one is religious or not one ought to have some ethics and an ethic that does not prevent the world from falling apart is I suggest a rather useless one.
So people need jobs; we should have compassion for their dilemma; and we ought to think about what can be done to correct the situation. And this returns me to the subject at hand - growth.
I want to suggest that the term growth is confusing and often at odds with restoring healthy employment.
One must remember that cancer is growth. Uncontrolled growth is not a good thing. In our work we need to be making things that make life more convenient, more joyful, and less stressful for our customers or clients. They do not need more junk to clutter their houses. They do need healthy food, a place to live and quality amenities. Yet the commercial sector often pushes all kinds of stuff that is not helpful. Education that leaves the student with large debt and unmarketable skill set, for example. A home too far from the job, for example.
We need to think about how to prolong life on this planet during an epic of excessive population growth.
Thus there is good growth and bad growth.
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