A long decade ago economic growth was the reigning fashion of political economy. It was simultaneously the hottest subject of economic theory and research, a slogan eagerly claimed by politicians of all stripes, and a serious objective of the policies of governments. The climate of opinion has changed dramatically. Disillusioned critics indict both economic science and economic policy for blind obeisance to aggregate material "progress," and for neglect of its costly side effects. Growth, it is charged, distorts national priorities, worsens the distribution of income, and irreparably damages the environment. Paul Erlich speaks for a multitude when he says, "We must acquire a life style which has as its goal maximum freedom and happiness for the individual, not a maximum Gross National Product." [in Nordhaus, William D. and James Tobin., "Is growth obsolete?" Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect Vol 5: Economic Growth. Nber, 1972. 1-80]
Some people believe labor-saving technological change is bad for the workers because it throws them out of work. This is the Luddite fallacy, one of the silliest ideas to ever come along in the long tradition of silly ideas in economics. Seeing why it's silly is a good way to illustrate further Solow's logic.The original Luddites were hosiery and lace workers in Nottingham, England, in 1811. They smashed knitting machines that embodied new labor-saving technology as a protest against unemployment (theirs), publicizing their actions in circulars mysteriously signed "King Ludd." Smashing machines was understandable protection of self-interest for the hosiery workers. They had skills specific to the old technology and knew their skills would not be worth much with the new technology. English government officials, after careful study, addressed the Luddites' concern by hanging fourteen of them in January 1813.The intellectual silliness came later, when some thinkers generalized the Luddites' plight into the Luddite fallacy: that an economy-wide technical breakthrough enabling production of the same amount of goods with fewer workers will result in an economy with - fewer workers. Somehow it never occurs to believers in Luddism that there's another alternative: produce more goods with the same number of workers. Labor-saving technology is another term for output-per-worker-increasing technology. All of the incentives of a market economy point toward increasing investment and output rather than decreasing employment; otherwise some extremely dumb factory owners are foregoing profit opportunities. With more output for the same number of workers, there is more income for each worker.Of course, there could very well be some unemployment of workers who know only the old technology - like the original Luddites - and this unemployment will be excruciating to its victims. But workers as a whole are better off with more powerful output-producing technology available to them. Luddites confuse the shift of employment from old to new technologies with an overall decline in employment. The former happens; the latter doesn't. Economies experiencing technical progress, like Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, do not show any long-run trend toward increasing unemployment; they do show a long-run trend toward increasing income per worker.Solow's logic had made clear that labor-saving technical advance was the only way that output per worker could keep increasing in the long run. The neo-Luddites, with unintentional irony, denigrate the only way that workers' incomes can keep increasing in the long-run: labor-saving technological progress.The Luddite fallacy is very much alive today. Just check out such a respectable document as the annual Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Program. The 1996 Human Development Report frets about "jobless growth" in many countries. The authors say "jobless growth" happens whenever the rate of employment growth is not as high as the rate of output growth, which leads to "very low incomes" for millions of workers. The 1993 Human Development Report expressed the same concern about this "problem" of jobless growth, which was especially severe in developing countries between 1960 and 1973: "GDP growth rates were fairly high, but employment growth rates were less than half this." Similarly, a study of Vietnam in 2000 lamented the slow growth of manufacturing employment relative to manufacturing output. The authors of all these reports forget that having GDP rise faster than employment is called growth of income per worker, which happens to be the only way that workers "very low incomes" can increase.
Why are the desert blooms that spring to life after a monsoon so magnificent? The answer is – their impermanence. The lush growth and blooming flowers do not last very long here in the desert, and this new growth only happens once a year. If this growth was never-ending, we would soon take it for granted. Likewise, our human lives. What makes them so special and unique? Our fleeting impermanence.
Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.
The Practising Manager’s Growth Mantra-Growth in an enterprise is created through remarkable achievements, not incremental achievements like efficiency or effectiveness.-Remarkable achievements are possible only in complexity.-Only volitional engagement can work in complexity. Luckily, there is no certainty in complexity. Hence, motivational engagement cannot work.-People who make choices based on the purpose can only be volitionally engaged—they are the growth managers, the leaders.
Great growth comes from loneliness. You have time to develop, dwell in your own mind and go a bit mad. All great people are a bit mad. That’s good to remember. Don’t escape it. Great growth comes from time spent in foreign lands, watching foreign people with foreign cultures. It makes you forget about your own land and race and town for a while. Great growth also comes from rooting yourself into one place from time to time. Unpack your bags, get a nice bed, a book shelf, some friends. Learn to show up, keep in touch, stick around. Growth comes in all sort of forms and shapes, everywhere at all times, and it’s yours to take and consume. Do what ought to be done. Here and now, to get you somewhere — anywhere.
The benefit of personal growth and self-discovery is that we become better human beings with the strength to endure and carry on, and then we may experience something magical when we begin to reach out to others. We discover a feeling that is so rewarding and fulfilling: that fact that we can make a difference. Here is to your willingness to begin with making a difference with yourself!Michael James
Education is a business - the growth business. It cultivates the growth of our learners, translates the growth of new knowledge, and builds professional growth.
Death Valley wasn't dead at all. It was asleep. It was simply waiting for the conditions of growth. When the conditions came, life returned to the heart of Death Valley.Human beings and human communities are the same. We need the right conditions for growth, in our schools, businesses, and communities, and in our individual lives. If the conditions are right, people grown in synergy with the people around them and the environments they create. If the conditions are poor, people protect themselves and their anxieties from neighbors and the world. Some of the elements of our growth are inside us. They include the need to develop our unique natural aptitudes and personal passions. Finding and nurturing them is the surest way to ensure our growth and fulfillment a as individuals.
Growth is only possible in an environment that is consistent, intentional, and positive. This is not an event; instead, growth happens daily, not in a day.