Zombie Economics, Author: John Quiggin.
By John Quiggin – Economic development and technological progress provide the only real hope of lifting billions of people out of poverty and destitution, just as it has done for the minority in the developed world. Yet the living standards of the developed world have been built on cheap energy from carbon-based fossil fuels. If everyone in the world used energy as Americans or even Europeans do, it would be impossible to restrict climate change to even four degrees of warming.
The question is not: ‘Can we let everyone live like prosperous residents of the First World without destroying our natural environment?’ It is: ‘Will we?’ A balance is achievable, if we want it
The first thing is to identify the right ones. Aggregates such as gross domestic product (GDP) often come up in this context, but they are of very little use. GDP is a measure of overall economic activity, produced to assist short-term macroeconomic management.
By design, it takes no account of the usefulness of what is produced or of the specific resources used up in production. Unless you are an economic planner or central banker, you are better off ignoring it altogether. more>
- Global poverty is declining but not fast enough, Homi Kharas and Wolfgang Fengler, brookings.edu