The top story in the Oregonian this week is that there’s a 40% chance we’re headed into another recession (the seventeen percent of us who are underemployed might ask, “headed into?”). Apparently the last recession ended in June of 2009, according to state economists. Don’t worry though, those same economists say we should look on the bright side — Oregon fell so far after the real estate and financial bubbles burst in 2008 that we couldn’t possibly crash as hard in the next recession.
If only this were true. Another recession would be GOOD news.
What if the recent economic meltdown was not just an interruption in the story of continuous economic expansion, but the first sign of the end of growth as we know it? In his new book The End of Growth, author Richard Hienberg makes a cogent argument that this slowdown is far worse than a mere recession. We may be seeing the end of economic growth, owing to environmental and energy constraints that economists have long ignored as a matter of practice. Added to that are a century of increasingly wreckless fiscal policies that have led the U.S. and world economies into an economic box canyon.
We’ve said this before, and Heinberg argues, that traditional economic growth is not the best measure of human health and welfare. However, we’re stuck in a model of growth that is based on cheap energy, reckless consumption, and financial speculation.
What to do with such depressing news? Why, celebrate of course! That’s why we’ve asked Hienberg to visit Portland on October 21, the day Harold Camping of Family Radio has rescheduled, from May 21, for the rapture (apparently he had a calendar malfunction). Anyway, what better date to delve into the coming economic apocalypse.
Date: 21 October (the last date you need to write down in your calendar)
Location: PNCA 1241 NW Johnson
Time: 7 PM
Tix: Get an Illahee 2012 season pass* (while you’re still here on earth) and get into our fall events for free
*a limited number of single tickets to the event are for sale here.