Citizen Action Monitor

Prosperity without Growth by Tim Jackson – Links to All Posts

Prosperity without Growth — Links to All Posts

Below, are links to all posts of synopses, chapter by chapter, section by section, posted on my blog, that derive from Tim Jackson’s book Prosperity without Growth.

The links are arranged in the chronological order in which they were posted, which reflects their physical arrangement in the book, from the opening Prologue through the chapters. To access a synopsis of interest, just scroll down the list, and when you find it, click on the linked title that I created for the synopsis and it will open in a new tab.

Links to other related articles by Jackson appear at the bottom of the list.




Prologue — “Prosperity Without Growth?” – Tim Jackson on how a report started a conversation whose time had come : Why Number 10 Downing Street ironically “went ballistic” when the report landed on the PM’s desk. No 2010 Posted by fw, July 18, 2017


Section 1 Introduction — Tim Jackson: In a finite world, what can Prosperity (without growth) possibly mean? : More to the point — How can a bold conception of prosperity be attained? No 2013 Posted by fw, July 22, 2017

Section 2  Prosperity as Growth — Is economic growth a measure of “real prosperity”? Tim Jackson says “No” and explains why : The relentless pursuit of GDP growth is a given in rich countries, a panacea for all drags on the economy. No 2015 Posted by fw, July 25, 2017

Section 3 Confronting limits — In this advanced technological age, when anything is possible, limits are seen as inconvenient or illusory : Tim Jackson’s title of this section, “Confronting limits” is initially puzzling because his opening paragraphs are about this age without limits. No 2018 Posted by fw, July 29, 2017

Section 4 The struggle for existence — Our legacy of concern about material limits dates to Malthus’ 1798 Essay on runaway population growth : Tim Jackson explains what Malthus failed to see, why population growth did not outpace food supply. No 2019 Posted by fw, July 31, 2017

Section 5 Betting on our future — Are our political leaders gambling with our future by expanding economic growth? : Tim Jackson says that when resource scarcities kick in on our finite planet, it will be too late for adjustments. No 2024 Posted by fw, August 05, 2017

Section 6 Running out of planet — Policy makers seduced by economists’ claims that climate change can be fixed, economic growth can continue : Twenty-five years of failed UN-led climate change negotiating has brought humanity to a precipice. No 2025 Posted by fw, August 07, 2017

Section 7 Beyond the limits — Why do we fail to see the connection between economic growth and planet degradation? : Simple: a growing economy is all we know. No 2026 Posted by fw, August 08, 2017


Section 1 Introduction — Conventional wisdom holds that economic growth is the surest path to prosperity : But in following that path for decades, we have not gained prosperity, we have lost it. No 2030 Posted by fw, August 14, 2017

Section 2 In search of villains — Queen Elizabeth II asks economists why no one saw the 2008 financial collapse coming : If it’s a villain we want for Lost Prosperity, it appears that private and public sector indebtedness are prime suspects. No 2034 Posted by fw, August 18, 2017

Section 3 The labyrinth of debt (omitted)

Section 4 The enemy within —  Q: What led the world to the brink of economic disaster in 2008? — A: The unrelenting drive for economic growth : Pursuit of growth drove loosening of regulations, proliferation of financial derivatives, and massive expansion of public debt and private credit in decades before and during the crisis. No 2040 Posted by fw, August 26, 2017

Section 5 A year in the Keynesian sun — We learned nothing! — After 2008 disaster, it was back to business-as-usual, as-fast-as-possible : Circumstances may have changed, but the goal remained the same — renewed economic growth. No 2041 Posted by fw, August 27, 2017

Section 6 Enter the deflationary headwinds… — What if a low-growth, no-growth economy became the new normal? : Tim Jackson reviews the evidence for a return to “secular stagnation.” No 2042 Posted by fw, August 28, 2017


Section 1 Introduction“The prevailing vision of prosperity as a continually expanding material paradise has come unravelled” : What’s needed now is wisdom-based vision of prosperity that nurtures human flourishing. No 2045 Posted by fw, September 6, 2017

Section 2 Measuring progressJackson weighs suitability of ‘opulence’ and ‘utility’ as measures of societal prosperity : He finds both problematic. No 2047 Posted by fw, September 8, 2017

Section 3 Happiness wars — Attempts to equate prosperity with happiness and life satisfaction fail to measure up : “To equate prosperity with happiness goes against our experience of what it means to live well.” No 2048 Posted by fw, September 10, 2017

Section 4 Bounded capabilities for flourishingIn defining what it means to prosper, capabilities for flourishing offer a good starting point, provided … : … The capabilities to flourish are “bounded within certain inevitable limits.” No 2050 Posted by fw, September 13, 2017


Section 1 Introduction —  Chapter 4 of “Prosperity without Growth” — Tim Jackson finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. : “The Dilemma of Growth” — Growth looks ecologically unsustainable; Yet it appears essential for lasting prosperity. No 2058 Posted by fw, September 20, 2017

Section 2 Material abundance as a condition of flourishing — What drives our insatiable consumer desire for more long after our material needs are met? : It turns out, says Tim Jackson, “that material things matter to us in non-material ways”. No 2060 Posted by fw, September 23, 2017

Section 3 Income and basic entitlements — Is economic growth essential for higher life expectancy, lower child mortality and education access? : Jackson’s analysis reveals a complex relationship between economic growth and essential benefits for human flourishing. No 2062 Posted by fw, September 28, 2017

Section 4 Income growth and economic stability — Do we need economic growth to keep the economy stable? : Why is the conventional answer to this question always the same: “Yes. There is no alternative.” No 2063 Posted by fw, September 29, 2017


Section 1 Introduction — The appeal to decoupling as an escape from the dilemma of growth is “far from convincing,” says Tim Jackson : Which is not to suggest that decoupling economic activity from rising carbon emissions is not vital. No 2064 Posted by fw, September 29 2917

Section 2 Relative decoupling in historical perspective — From an historical perspective, Tim Jackson finds no reliable, conclusive evidence for relative decoupling : The world’s input amount of material and energy resources used in production is not declining as fast the increase in global growth of the economy. No 2069 Posted by fw, October 5, 2017

Section 3 Absolute decoupling in historical perspective — There’s no historical evidence of absolute decoupling of GDP from resource use between 1990-2008 : On the contrary, studies show that material consumption and economic output are very strongly coupled. No 2070 Posted by fw, October 6, 2017

Section 4 The arithmetic of growth — Could relative decoupling proceed fast enough to achieve real reductions in emissions? : Jackson turns to arithmetic for an answer and finds an economy in 2100 completely different than the one we have now. No 2071 Posted by fw, October 9, 2017

Section 5 Stark choices –– “Simple arithmetic reveals stark choices,” forewarns ecological economist Tim Jackson : If we are committed to combat the climate crisis, our current direction is entirely wrong. No 2072 Posted by fw, October 10, 2017


Section 1 Introduction — The profit motive, entwined with consumer demand, lock us into an ‘Iron Cage’ of consumerism : “It is entirely fanciful to suppose that ‘deep’ emission and resource cuts can be achieved without confronting the structure of market economies.” No 2075 Posted by fw, October 14, 2017

Section 2 Varieties of capitalism — “Capitalism” — an elusive concept that appears in numerous varieties, says Tim Jackson : Whatever its definition, the question remains: Are any of these varieties of capitalism possible without growth? No 2076 Posted by fw, October 16, 2017

Section 3 Structures of capitalism — Capitalism’s structural dynamic “undermines the interests of those it’s supposed to serve” : Does a self-perpetuating system of “creative destruction” contribute to prosperity in any meaningful sense? No 2081 Posted by fw, October 22, 2017

Section 4 Social logic — ”Consumer culture perpetuates itself precisely because it succeeds so well at failure!” : The sheer novelty of new things carries a symbolic meaning that excites us, promises to fulfill the dreams and desires inspired by our consumer culture. No 2082 Posted by fw, October 23, 2017

Section 5 Novelty and anxiety — The production of novelty through creative destruction sharpens the appetite for novelty in consumers  : But novelty-driven consumerism, by failing to advance social progress, has created an “anxiety of the empty self”. No 2083 Posted by fw, October 24, 2017


Section 1 Introduction — Insatiable consumer desire aside, people are capable of restraining spending in times of economic crisis : But no escaping the growth dilemma — spending restraint during a crisis deepens and lengthens the recession. No 2086 Posted by fw, October 29, 2017

Section 2 The paradox of materialism — Why do rich societies with lots of material goods, show few signs of meaningful social participation? : Given weak evidence of our ability to flourish, it is even more puzzling why rich societies pursue material growth. No 2087 Posted by fw, October 30, 2017

Section 3 A life without shame — How fear of social shame drives our relentless pursuit of stuff, threatens promise of a life of true prosperity : The language of goods has failed us, leaving no escape from this social trap in pursuit of a life without shame. No 2088 Posted by fw, November 2, 2017

Section 4 An alternative hedonismIt’s past time for us to shift away from consumer desires towards “an alternative hedonism” : An alternative hedonism leading to a more ecologically sustainable, satisfying, happier life. No 2089 Posted by fw, November 3, 2017

Section 5 The evolution of selfishness — Over centuries, a borrowed concept of “self-interest” evolved to become a credible tenet of modern economics : Of late, this “borrowed credibility”, unbridled in a capitalist system, has become “the nastiest motive of nasty people.” No 2090 Posted by fw, November 4, 2017

Section 6 Beyond the selfish gene — Proof of genetically inherited altruistic behaviour means we can move beyond the selfish gene : Societies structured to cultivate long-term vision, altruism, and self-transcending behaviours, while penalizing selfish behaviours, will flourish. No 2091 Posted by fw, November 5, 2017


Section 1 Introduction — Tim Jackson calls for a systematic re-construction of economics capable of delivering a lasting prosperity : Ironically, rampant consumerism provides an opportunity to recalibrate our capitalist economic system. No 2092 Posted by fw, November 07, 2017

Section 2 Enterprise as Service — Thinking in terms of services reveals new ways to decarbonize, dematerialize economic activity : Services-based enterprise features “non-polluting energy sources, selling non-material services, not polluting products.” No 2097 Posted by fw, November 11, 2017

Section 3 Work as participation — Work in the employment-rich service sector is not only more fulfilling, it’s material-light : Service-based vocations “have the potential to restore the value of decent work to its rightful place at the heart of society.” No 2098 Posted by fw, November 13, 2017

Section 4 Investment as commitmentJackson assesses the massive investment demands of a transition to a “Prosperity without Growth” economy : The impact of a transition of this scale on our ongoing economic performance is unclear, but the benefits of a new vision of prosperity are indisputable. No 2099 Posted by fw, November 15, 2017

Section 5 Money as a social goodOur debt-based money system is the biggest challenge facing sustainable investment financing : Find out what our “debt-based” money system is, and why, if not changed, it could be a transition show-stopper. No 2100 Posted by fw, November 16, 2017

Section 6 The economy of tomorrow — Foundations for the economy of tomorrow derive from four simple first principles cited in Chapter 8 —  Enterprise as service; Work as participation; Investment as commitment; and Money as a social good. No 2101 Posted by fw, November 17, 2017


Section 1 Introduction — Tim Jackson finds “something distinctly odd about our contemporary refusal to question economic growth” : He sets out to correct that oversight with a “convincing macroeconomics for a ‘post-growth’ society.” No 2113 Posted by fw, December 4, 2017

Section 2 Our growth in not their recession — Can the degrowth movement provide an escape route from the “dilemma of growth”?  : Tim Jackson critiques degrowth and finds “it gives us too little to go on in building a post-growth macroeconomics.” No 2114 Posted by fw, December 5, 2017

Section 3 Angelizing growth — Can eco-modernists provide an escape route from the “dilemma of growth?” : Tim Jackson critiques their proposed decoupling solution and concludes it would only work for angels. No 2115 Posted by fw, December 6, 2017

Section 4 Is the economy of tomorrow a growth-based economy? — Two givens: First, “We must reduce in absolute terms the material throughput of the economy”  : Second: “Some things within the economy must continue to grow.” No 2116 Posted by fw, December 7, 2017

Section 5 Does sustainable investment increase or diminish growth? — “Does sustainable investment increase or diminish growth?” asks Tim Jackson : But does his use of “economese” muddy the waters of Jackson’s answer? No 2117 Posted by fw, December 8, 2017

Section 6 Do services provide a ‘new engine of growth’? — A shift towards the services sector of the economy heralds a considerably slower rate of economic growth : In fact, says Tim Jackson, “we may already be heading towards a stationary or quasi-stationary state” of growth. No 2118 Posted by fw, December 9, 2017

Section 7 Confronting instability — What to do when demand stagnates, unemployment rises, and social instability follows? : Jackson suggests a transition to services offers a more ‘holistic’ solution to unemployment in a low-growth economy. No 2119 Posted by fw, December 10, 2017

Section 8 The algebra of inequality — Tim Jackson and Peter Victor find a flaw in Thomas Piketty’s “algebra of inequality” thesis : “What we found was fascinating,” says Jackson, leading to fertile ground for degrowth. No 2120 Posted by fw, December 11, 2017

Section 9 Does credit create a growth imperative? — Tim Jackson and Peter Victor successfully challenge the conjecture that credit creates a “growth imperative”  : And another argument against a post-growth economics turns out to be false. No 2121 Posted by fw, December 12, 2017

Section 10 The stabilizing role of government — Government has a vital stabilizing role to play during a transition to a post-growth economy, says Jackson : “The principle of increasing government public spending when output falls and reducing public spending when output rises proved remarkably robust.” No 2122 Posted by fw, December 12, 2017

Section 11 Beyond the growth dilemma — In his concluding section of Chapter 9, Jackson foresees the emergence of a post-growth macroeconomics : Beyond the growth dilemma, a new macroeconomics will improve “the quality of our society and the integrity of our environment.” No 2123 Posted by fw, December 13, 2017


Section 1 Introduction — Faced with “a captured, powerless, inefficient government’, Jackson explores a new role for the state : Can we envision a new role for government, one suited to thrive in a resource-constrained, warming world? No 2135 Posted by fw, January 4, 2018

Section 2 Contesting governance — In response to the 2008 financial crisis, the protective role of the state privileged powerful corporations : Ordinary citizens now perceive the state as corrupted by private interests and impotent to act in the public interest. No 2138 Posted by fw, January 7, 2018

Section 3 Governing the commons — Towards an understanding of “common pool resources” and the state’s role in supporting the common good : “Common pool resources” consist of natural or human-made systems, such as forests, water, the atmosphere and irrigation systems. No 2139 Posted by fw, January 8, 2018

Section 4 Government as a commitment device — Jackson builds a case for government as a “commitment device” to escape the “iron cage of consumerism’” : But will our selfish pursuit of affluence continue to erode and undermine government’s role as a commitment device? No 2142 Posted by fw, January 12, 2018

Section 5 The governmentality of growth — “Governmentality” – the way governments try to produce citizens best suited to fulfill their own policies : Decades of neoliberal regimes have practiced the unsustainable, ecologically destructive, governmentality of growth. No 2143 Posted by fw, January 14, 2018

Section 6 Beyond the conflicted state — Government is caught in a “dilemma of growth” – It’s time to move beyond this conflicted state, says Jackson : A half-century of the governmentality of growth has come at the expense of policies for the common good. No 2144 Posted by fw, January 15, 2018

Section 7 Policies for a post-growth society — Tim Jackson outlines four broad policy themes for a post-growth society : He underscores the importance of input from constituents in the process of government policymaking. No 2145 Posted by fw, January 17, 2018

Section 8 Governance for prosperity — The promise of a governance for prosperity in a much-to-be-desired progressive State : “The progressive State is the basis for a renewed vision of governance, the foundation for a lasting prosperity.” No 2146 Posted by fw, January 17, 2018


Section 1 Introduction — Tim Jackson is blunt. Our situation is dire: “Society is faced with a profound dilemma.” : In his final chapter, he recaps key arguments and explains the critical importance of achieving prosperity without growth. No 2147 Posted by fw, January 18, 2018

Section 2 The sacred canopy — Could “prosperity without growth” provide a framework within which to make sense of our existence? : The role of this framework, this “sacred canopy,” is to keep us from despair when confronted with existential threats. No 2148 Posted by fw, January 19, 2018

Section 3 Beyond the “iron cage” — How do we help people to move beyond the “iron cage of consumerism?” : Consumerism has gutted our sense of common purpose, lost are opportunities for citizens to share a common life. No 2149 Posted by fw, January 20, 2018

Section 4 Cinderella at the ball? — Jackson alleges that today’s growth-driven economy unjustly oppresses human flourishing : If we are to create a prosperity without growth, we must envision a different kind of economy. No 2150 Posted by fw, January 22, 2018

Section 5 The end of capitalism — Will the emergence of a post-growth economy mean the end of capitalism as we have known it? : Jackson calls on us to focus on growing the “economy of tomorrow”, don’t waste time on “irresolvable turf wars.” No 2151 Posted by fw, January 26, 2018

Section 6 Not Utopia — The vision for an economy of tomorrow is not utopian. It’s not a Western post-materialist fantasy : The vision is about taking simple steps towards an economics fit for a meaningful prosperity on a finite planet. No 2152 Posted by fw, January 27, 2018


Other related articles by Tim Jackson

Endless economic growth endangers our future : Celebrated ecological economist Tim Jackson talks about the need to envision a post-growth economy. July 5, 2017 #1999 published interview

“We have to design our economies to live within ecological limits and resource constraints” – Tim Jackson : “Start with the idea of what prosperity is and then ask questions about what kind of economy you need to get there.” July 15, 2017 #2007 interview with my transcript

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