Postscript on Oxfam versus growth

In: Uncategorized

19 Mar 2014

After my spiked article on Oxfam’s growth figures was published yesterday I belated remembered the development charity’s attitude towards economic growth. It has overtly called for incomes in the rich countries to remain steady or even fall. This is my blog post on the subject from 30 September 2009:

Duncan Green of Oxfam explicitly calls for the rationing of economic growth in his blog today. He summarises the conclusions of his talk to a Quaker economic conference as follows:

“if you want to maximise happiness (a utilitarian argument which offends the rights-based people, I know, but not a bad start) AND prevent catastrophic global warming, you need to make sure that incomes rise in the poor countries, but are steady or falling in the rich ones. i.e. we need to ration growth – it’s just too precious (and dirty) to waste on the rich countries.”

This neatly shows the use of climate change as an argument against growth in the mainstream discussion. At least Green – unlike many others – has the virtue of being open about his conclusions.