In an incredible article entitled "The Global Economy in 2067" (https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/long-term-global-economic-prospects-by-kaushik-basu-2017-06?utm_source=Project+Syndicate+Newsletter&utm_campaign=2200ecc304-sunday_newsletter_25_6_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_73bad5b7d8-2200ecc304-93642477#comments), Kaushik Basu, former Chief Economist of the World Bank and now Professor of Economics at Cornell University and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, predicts that in 2067 Global GDP would be growing at 20% per year! Here is Herman Daly's comment.
Comment Herman Daly JUN 25, 2017
"...... in 50 years, I predict that the world economy is likely (though not guaranteed) to be thriving, with global GDP growing by as much as 20% per year, and income and consumption doubling every four years or so."--Kaushik Basu The former Chief Economist of the World Bank foresees 20% annual GDP growth. Bernie Madoff was sent to prison for a smaller Ponzi scheme than that! This is the most growthist forecast I have seen, twice the maximum rate of the temporary Chinese expansion. But Mr Basu throws in a qualification, a slight nod to the finite physical world: "If, as overall consumption doubles every four years, we also double the number of cars on the road or miles that jets fly, we will quickly exceed the planet’s limits. ..... The right incentives will be needed to ensure that a large share of our wealth is directed at improving health and achieving environmental sustainability." So, 20% GDP growth will not consist of cars and jet planes, because the planet cannot take it. What about food and clothing---will they grow at 20%? And population--how fast can it grow? And if we extend the forecast for another 50 years that will mean 12.5 doublings, giving a factor of over 5,000 increase in GDP. How do we keep that from "exceeding the planet's limits"? Mr Basu says only that "the right incentives will be needed". Incentives to do what? To improve health and achieve environmental sustainability. Would health and environmental sustainability be greater in today's economy, or in one whose GDP is 5,000 larger? If the growing economy is not to displace the entire ecosystem and its life support services, then we must, as economists put it, "dematerialize GDP" , or , as I prefer to say, "angelize GDP". To subsist on "angel GDP" humans would have to become angels, free from material bodies. I had hoped that the World Bank had improved in the 23 years since I resigned from that institution , but evidently it is still peddling the same old pyramid scam. ---Herman Daly, Emeritus Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland