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The Archbishop on Growth

December 1, 2009

Both at the individual and the national level we have to question what we mean by ‘growth’. The ability to produce more and more consumer goods is in itself and entirely mechanical measure of wealth. It sets up the vicious cycle in which it is necessary for all time to create new demand for goods and thus new demands on a limited material environment for energy resources and raw materials. By the hectic inflation of demand it creates personal anxiety and rivalry. By systematically depleting the resources of the planet, it systematically destroys the basis for long term well-being. In a nutshell, it is investing in the wrong things.

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams addressing the TUC this week. His sermon also touched on contraction and convergence, the distribution of wealth, the Good Childhood report, and the Tobin tax – just the sorts of things Archbishops should be talking about, in my view.

You can read the full sermon here.

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