Growth is a big issue, and getting bigger all the time, but not one that yet generates serious discussion in the community. Nor has it been the subject of mainstream political critique. That economic growth is good is a view unchallenged by any major political party in Australia, with the exception of the Greens – and more than anything else it is their questioning of growth that has seen the major parties condemn the Greens as a fringe political movement.
No doubt there are deep philosophical – or at least ideological – reasons for this, but the problem might also be explained by our simple failure to understand the mathematics of growth, and our framing the problem of developing a successful economy that does not grow in a way that makes it hard to see a solution.
Michael Rowan is an Emeritus Professor of the University of South Australia, and an Adjunct Professor, Division of Deputy Vice Chancellor (Students and Education) University of Tasmania, involved in strengthening community support for education, particularly senior secondary schooling, in all Tasmanian communities.
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