If all the headbutting over the debt crisis has your head aching as much as mine is, Richard Heinberg from the Post Carbon Institute has some words of sanity that are worth checking out. Heinberg posits that both the Democrats and Republicans are right, but "they're both tragically wrong":
These two perspectives are irreconcilable. Ironically, though, they're both right. Debt will overwhelm us. Reducing government spending will cause the economy to relapse. But they're also both wrong. Reining in government won't automatically cause the growth of private enterprise. Yet neither will more stimulus spending. With high oil prices, falling home values, an aging work force, and maxed-out consumer debt, there's just no basis for a self-sustaining U.S. economic recovery.Right on.
The reality is that we now have a post-growth economy, whether we like it or not. Adapting to this new reality will require more of our leaders than political theater, name-calling, and blame-gaming. Radical adjustments to our economy are required--even more radical than a sovereign debt default. We're going to have to rethink the economy's goal (up to now its goal has been simply to grow). We're going to have to engage in an honest national discussion about how much inequality is socially sustainable in a shrinking economy. We'll have to re-invent money and finance so they'll work in a non-growing economy. We must adjust to rapidly tightening energy and resource limits while dealing more effectively with the environmental consequences of our recent industrial growth binge.
Read more: Post Carbon Institute
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