Just Reproduction, Production and Consumption

Abolishing gross domestic product as an indicator of economic progress

What's the problem?

Gross Domestic Product (GDP), although not originally intended as such, has established itself as the primary indicator of a state's wealth. Despite its long-known weaknesses, such as the positive accounting of ecological damage, the lack of consideration of externalised costs and damage and unpaid → care work and forms of production outside the market, it is still the most important benchmark for political success.

What's the measure?

Economic growth as a state goal is to be replaced by sustainability goals oriented towards the concept of environmental justice. Alternative indicators of wealth should replace GDP as a guideline for politics. These alternative indicators (e.g. National Welfare Index -NWI) are to be calculated regularly at regional and national level and to be considered in the planning and implementation of laws. However, new indicators alone do not automatically change political priorities, as they are influenced by interest groups and power relations. It should also be borne in mind that an economic valorization of nature in the form of "natural capital" does not necessarily lead to greater appreciation and protection of → ecosystems. It is therefore recommended that methods of valuing and capturing wealth beyond monetary values become developed and introduced. A debate on the form of wealth and quality of life must be initiated, in which the focus should be on  what should be measured rather than on how.

How can climate change be counteracted and how can economic conditions be created that support effective climate protection measures?

The measure also ensures that the production sector is freed from the compulsion of growth, thereby facilitating emission reductions.

How quickly can the measure be implemented?

Step by step from now on. 

References to other measures

It can go hand in hand with every other measure.

Further literature, sources

  1. Research & Degrowth: Ye, We Can Prosper Without Growth (2015, abgerufen am 2.3.2020)
  2. Schmelzer, Matthias & Vetter, Andrea (2019): Degrowth/Postwachstum zur Einführung.
Yes, we can prosper without growth:

Matthias Schmelzer, Andrea Vetter, Degrowth/Postwachstum