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“Myth of Perpetual Growth” Is a Fantasyland For Capitalists, Killing The American Dream!

Everything You Know About “Economics” is Wrong.
Dead Wrong!

Why is this myth, this illusion, this fantasy of endless “perpetual growth” so wrong, so destructive of the long term, yet universally accepted among today short-term thinkers, economists, politicians and business leaders? Daniel Kahneman, the psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002 proved them all wrong, delusional. Trapped in a fantasyland of algorithms concocted in their rational minds.

And the biggest of all underpinning the world of today’s economic data is this bizarre myth that distorts all predictions, all forecasts, all projections, all guesstimates. Today’s economic conclusions are no more real than a summer blockbuster movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, Aliens, Avengers, Transformers. The difference is that our economic profession is a threat to America’s future, tho’ it make entertainment industry blockbusters. Unfortunately, outdated economic dogma is on track to destroy the world with this misleading ideological fantasy.

Why is all economics data based on the “Myth of Perpetual Growth?” Because all theories and business plans based on long-term growth forecasts are distortions, usually designed after the fact to support planned business and political projects. Economists are more like salesmen who rely on a set of fictions and irrational forecasts that emanate from the illusory magical mantra of ‘Perpetual Growth’ that goes untested year after year.

And yet they are used to manipulate the public into a set of policies and decisions that are leading the U.S. and the world economies down a path of unsustainable globalization and GDP growth assumptions that will eventually self-destruct the planet.

Economists, Consumers, Politicians All Addicted
To “Short-Term” Thinking … Capitalism

Yes, economists are addicted to this ideology. Trapped deep in their denial, can’t see the problem, or admit it, or if they do, they are unable to stop themselves, see past their own myopic worldview. They’re mercenaries working for capitalists who pay their salaries, and expect them to support the capitalist’s bizarre Myth of Perpetual Growth.

Worse, consumers also bought into the myth. Yes, you believe everything you learned in college about economic theories, all the textbooks, everything you read in the daily press, the government reports, all those Wall Street analysts’ predictions relying on studies prepared by economists with credentials.

But everything you think you know about economics … is wrong. Dead wrong! And until economics acknowledge this failure, this missing link, the discipline of economics is driving our world down a self-destruct path.

Why? The “dismal science” of economics is not really science. Yes, it looks scientific with all the fancy math algorithms, cloud data mining, and computer models that economists use, but all that’s just window dressing to make the economist look scientific, appear rational.

They’re not. Their conclusions are pre-ordained, fabricated, based on their biases, personal ideologies and whatever their employer wants to prove to manipulate consumers, voters or investors to buy what they’re selling.

What Do You Call An Economist With A Prediction? Wrong!

Don’t believe me? Go look at any of USA Today’s quarterly surveys of 50 economists projections of GDP growth. Invariably off by large margins. PR guesswork. Same with Barron’s “Big Money Poll.” In past reviews we’ve seen a wide gap in the forecasts of the bulls and bears.

Bottom line: No matter what, you cannot trust the predictions of any economist. Ever. Be forever vigilant: Several years ago famous BusinessWeek editorial headlined: “What Do You Call an Economist with a Prediction? Wrong.” Unfortunately, we live in a world of capitalists who manipulate the public with the Grand Myth of Perpetual Growth, of endless growth, ad infinitum, forever, till the end of time.

Driving the economists’ Grand Myth is population growth. Population is the pervasive independent variable driving their equation. Population growth drives all other derivative projections, forecasts and predictions. All GDP growth, all growth in profits and income, all wealth growth, all production growth, everything. All our assumptions of growth fit into the overall left-brain, logical, myopic mind-set of western leaders, of all the corporate CEOs, Wall Street bankers and all government policymakers running America and the world. We’re living the lie.

But just because a large group collectively believes in something doesn’t make it true. Perpetual growth is still a myth no matter how many economists, CEOs, bankers and politicians believe it, an illusion trapped in the brains of all these irrational, biased and uncritical folks.

No-Win Scenario: Damned If We Grow, Damned If We Don’t

Capitalism itself is at a crossroads. Perpetual growth is capitalism’s sacred cow, a fantasy, a “grow or die” theory that doesn’t work anymore. With us since 1776, it’s being challenged by a “new god of reality” that’s flashing warnings of an emerging new reality from critics, contrarians and eco-economists. This war is pitting old and new economists:

  • Grow OR Die. Traditional Classical Economists (Pro-Capitalism): We’re told we need 3% annual GDP growth to support the next batch of 100 million Americans. We believe that on faith. Go Buy stuff. Go shopping. New jobs fuel more growth. We’re out of control. Exploding growth fuels demands as the rest of the world adds another three billion new humans, all chasing their version of the “American dream.”
  • Grow AND Die. New eco-economists (environmentalists): They see Big Oil’s destruction of our coastal economies, the rape of coal mountains, the unintended consequences of power and chemical plants spewing carbon emissions and they ask: “When will economists, politicians and corporate leaders stop pretending Earth’s resources are infinitely renewable?”

We’re damned if we grow, damned if we don’t. Our world is at a crossroads, facing a dilemma, confronting this fundamental no-win scenario, because the “Myth of Perpetual Growth” is essential to justify supporting the three billion global population explosion coming in the next generation, by 2050. Yes, the coming population explosion is wasting our planet’s limited supply of non-renewable natural resources. The growth is ultimately suicidal, will eventually destroy our civilization.

Soon, All Economists Face “No-Growth” GDP Reality

But can economists change as long as they’re hired hands, mercenaries employed by Perpetual Growth Capitalists? No. It will take a new mind-set. The difference between the mind-set of traditional economists and the new eco-economists is simple: Traditional economists think short-term, react short-term, pursue short-term goals. The new eco-economist thinks long-term. This may seem overly simplistic, but fits reality. Here’s why:

  • Traditional/Classical Economists — Short-Term ThinkersTraditional economists are employees and consultants for organizations with short-term views, banks, big corporations, institutional investors, think-tanks, government. Population growth means new customers. They all think in lock-step, driven by daily closing prices, quarterly earnings, annual bonuses. Short-term business cycles are more important than what happens a decade in the future. Their brains are convinced: If we don’t survive now, the long-term is irrelevant.
  • New Environmental Economists — Long-Term ThinkersNew eco-economists see, think and plan for the long-term. They know the classical economists and capitalists thinking is setting America up for more, bigger catastrophes than 1929 or the 2008 meltdown. The “Avatar” film is a perfect metaphor: Soon capitalism will exhaust Earth’s resources forcing us to invade distant planets searching for new energy resources.

Actually something more immediate will force change much sooner. And you are not going to like it: United Nations, World Bank and Bush Pentagon studies all predict population growth (the main driver of all economic growth) will create unsustainable natural-resources demands beginning as early as 2020 with global population exploding from seven to ten billion by 2050. And bringing with it, mass unemployment, a no-growth economy and Depression Era austerity.

About the author

Paul B. Farrell

Dr Paul is a Behavioral Economist reporting on the science, psychology and politics of climate change and its impact on our culture, morals and vision of the future. For over seventeen years his columns were published on DowJones MarketWatch.com, which he joined as an editor when originally launched as a joint venture of CBS-News and The Financial Times. He published 1,643 columns between 1997 and 2015, and was their #1 traffic-generating columnist.

Over the years Dr Paul also published ten best-sellers, including The Millionaire Code: 16 Paths to Wealth Building ... The Winning Portfolio: Choosing Your 10 Best Mutual Funds ... Meditation Secrets of the Flawed Buddhas ... Expert Investing on The Net: Profit From the Top-25 Online Money Makers ... The Lazy Person's Guide to Investing ... Zen Millionaire: The Investor's Guide to the Other Side ... and most recently, HotEarthHell: The (New) Master Algorithm, a 2018 selection of his 33 best DowJones-MarketWatch columns on the economic impact of climate change and global warming.

Earlier he was an investment banker with Morgan Stanley ... Executive Vice President of the Financial News Network ... and Associate Editor of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. Back in the 1990s, he edited and published FNX: The Future News Index, an online investment newsletters for stock traders and forerunner for today's HotEarthHELLO! The Investors Climate Survival Guide.

He has the Doctorate in Psychology, Juris Doctor, Masters in Regional Planning and Bachelor of Architecture. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Staff Sergeant in aviation radar-computer technology.