Next Salon Discussion
Tuesday 2nd May: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion
Discussing First topical issue (Simon Belt) and Second topical issue (Mark Iddon)
Daniel Ben-Ami and Clive George will introduce a discussion about the scope for and limits to economic development in the developed and developing world.
Is economic growth such a good thing? Until the 1970s few would have even thought of asking this question. Yet today the West is often seen as guilty of overconsumption, while the rapid growth of developing countries such as China and India is seen by many in a highly negative light.
People who champion growth are accused of encouraging greed, damaging the environment and widening social inequalities. Daniel Ben-Ami, in his new book Ferraris for all, challenges these notions, arguing that society as a whole benefits from greater affluence and that we should celebrate growth.
Clive George will explore the reality behind the rhetoric of free markets, free trade and perpetual economic growth, in the light of the challenges posed by a few large developing countries that have actually succeeded in developing. For the past three hundred years the world has been dominated by western affluence, western military might, and the western ideas that accompany them, but all of these are now beginning to lose their grip. Should we attempt to tighten it? Are we likely to succeed? Or is there another way?
Clive will briefly review the arguments presented in his book The Truth About Trade, and go on to explore the actions we can now take to make the twenty first century a golden one and not the calamitous one it threatens to be.
Initial background readings
Sustainable development, Wikipedia
Written Evidence to Select Committee on International Development, House of Commons, November 2005
Really bad ideas: Population Control, by Frank Furedi, spiked-online 11 June 2007
Selling out the 'bottom billion', by Daniel Ben-Ami, spiked review of books, 03 July 2007
Burying Malthus to save Malthusianism, by Brendan O'Neill, spiked review of books, March 2010
The pseudo-radical war on economic growth, by Daniel Ben Ami, spiked review of books, May 2010
Macroeconomics and Growth Research Program, The World Bank website
UK will struggle with 'catastrophic' population growth unless changes are made, Mail Online 09 June 2010
Why more really is more, spiked review of books, June 2010
Hitting back at the growth sceptics, by Andrew Milligan, Fund Strategy 23 August 2010
Economic Growth: Bane or Boon?, Video of held at Northumbria University, 19 October 2010