The Costs of Economic Growth

I saw this book in a charity shop in Bishop Auckland, although a cheap paperback book, it rather it home.

In real terms we are probably better off than any previous generations, centrally heated houses, mobile phones. Yet somehow it doesn’t feel like it. The book I feel gives some explanation.

Cover Image – The Costs of Economic Growth. E J Mishan. 1969 Pelican.

A description of the book.

As a nation we are mesmerized by trade figures, intimidated by successive Chancellors of the Exchequer, anxiety-ridden about our growth-rate. the dreaded Balance of Payments weighs us up and finds us wanting. But why make a fetish of growth?

‘Growth’ buries us under a mound of mechanical devices thrust upon us by increasingly frantic advertisements. ‘Growth’ clogs our cities, jams our roads and ruins our air and countryside.

Far from enriching our welfare, uncontrolled growth impoverishes our lives and spawns ‘diswelfare’. Yet it is so much a part of our conventional wisdom that we have seldom fundamentally questioned it.

In this startling book Dr Mishan does so, and outlines several alternatives which emphatically do not mean turning our backs on the modern word.