By Pamela Haines, Quaker social justice educator with a concern for economics and the environment
What is the New Economy? There’s green growth, the green economy, sustainable development and no-growth or de-growth economies. There’s a dizzying host of new indicators for measuring them being proposed as replacements to the GDP. How does one make sense of it all?
I was helped by a report by Alan AtKisson, “Life Beyond Growth”. His fifth chapter, on alternative frameworks and their indicators, offers an excellent overview of these different takes on the New Economy. The following chapter provides an overview of a variety of factors that could block the progress of these new economic ideas, accelerate them, or cut both ways: the global financial crisis, disaster and recovery, armed conflict, poverty alleviation, geopolitical power shifts, democracy movements, the private sector, and Rio+20 and other UN processes. We spend most of our time on the ground, so AtKisson’s aerial view of all these issues is a welcome one.