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SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Is the fact that our economy relies on constant growth, or we fall into recession and depression, immoral?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (10007points) September 24th, 2008

If we dont pass this bail out plan, they say the economy will slow. Why is this a bad thing? I think people need to stop buying things constantly and learn how to be sulf-sufficient and more efficient.

Also, I keep hearing people talk about deregulation of these companies is the reason we got to this point. What about the deregulation and complete lack of oversight to the private institution that puts the money in circulation to make this all possible, the Federal Reserve? Not only is the “Fed” gonna bail out these companies on behalf of taxpayers, the taxpayers must pay interest on this money. How does any of this make sense? Why do we have such a complicated way of doing things that the average person doesn’t understand? Why do we let a private institution decide what the value of our dollar is?

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8 Answers

nikipedia's avatar

Do you know what the word “immoral” means? Here are some resources for you:

The slowing economy makes people’s lives harder, less pleasant, and more complicated. It sucks. But it’s not immoral.

fireside's avatar

The reason why our economy slowing is a bad thing is for more than a few reasons.

One reason is because a nation’s power in the global economy is attributed to their consumption of goods.

The economy doesn’t just “slow down”, what it actually means is that people are losing their homes, having trouble putting food on their kid’s plates, and are generally being ruined due to raising inflation.

I agree that our willingness to take free credit has contributed to the problem.

Responding to the questions about the Federal Reserve will take a lot more time than I have right now.

wundayatta's avatar

In nature, what happens when something stops growing?

If the universe were to stop expanding, and collapse back in on itself, what would happen?

The economy has to grow because population is growing. Everyone needs some basic necessities. In a recession, there’s less to go around, and some people don’t get enough. They die.

Negative growth, if it goes on long enough, takes over the whole organism, which dies. Humans and our culture and economy behave the same way.

Is growth immoral? I guess it is, if you don’t like people. Some people don’t, you know.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

You said,“Everyone needs some basic necessities.”
I could not agree with you more. By us growing, requires us to work more, pay more taxes, buy more things, and work more to buy more. My idea of necessities are land, energy, and food, all of which are being controlled by corporations or government. We have the power to produce all of these on our own, which would give us true freedom. Instead Monsanto Corp. is taking over our food, Oil companies are trying to control wind, sun, and other resources that every individual on earth can harness themselves, holding no one but themselves responsible for what they are paying for energy costs. And if we could actually own land, without being taxed on it, we could create our own food, and any work we do, product or service we barter, or contracts we sign, our benefit will be the things we want in life, not the things we need.

David Icke

wundayatta's avatar


Well, it’s people that decide, and the overwhelming majority do not want to grow their own food. They are perfectly happy to have Archer-Daniels-Midland grow gazillions of gallons of corn syrup for our cokes. Monsanto isn’t taking over; people are begging them to do it.

Well, not me, I shop at farmer’s markets. I know who grows my food.

I don’t know what taxation has to do with it. Without taxes there will be no roads, no schools, no police or fire services, and so much more. Do you want to be off the grid so much, that you have no interaction with others? Do you live in Alaska?

There’s simply not enough arable land for everyone to have their own plot to grow food on. And not enough people want to do it.

I, for one, am perfectly happy to have other people build my house, build my car, build the streets and electrical grid; mine the metal ores and refine them. But more power to you if you can get off the grid and be self-sufficient.

kevbo's avatar

The morality at play here is “he who has the gold makes the rules.” The people involved are only interested in extracting as much money from the system as they can while using this manufactured crisis to push through other legislation and measures that will continue to favor corporations and the apparatus that supports them.

@chris, I think your old George Carlin clip still applies.

Journalist Naomi Klein seems to be a good source to track this thread as these events unfold. Like George Carlin, she’s predicting the privatization of social security (in the next administration and as the result of these bailouts).

Zaku's avatar

It’s not precisely “constant economic growth” that’s immoral, but it’s using more resources than the planet can support, and the number of people who live and die in miserable conditions as a result of the excesses of what our economy does.

For more on this see for example this article on the madness of excessive economic growth .

cwilbur's avatar

It’s not that the economy requires constant growth, it’s that long-term growth is the sign of a healthy economy. So when the economy stops growing or starts shrinking, it’s a sign that something is unhealthy in the economy.

Further, sure, it would be great if there was an abundance of everything we could possibly need or want. But economically speaking, that doesn’t happen: an increase in supply brings down the price for things, which means that the demand for things goes up, until the demand and the supply re-balance each other. Look at the example of nuclear power: it was supposed to produce an abundance of power that would be “too cheap to meter”, and instead people came up with a lot more ways to use electricity.

If you intend to post questions about economics, it’s probably most helpful if you start by learning a bit about micro- and macroeconomics.

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