What’s Growth Got to do with it?

I remember as a child being sent to go and buy a loaf of bread for an amount of money whose denomination probably doesn’t even exist today, let alone having any sort of value that can actually buy something. The price of bread is what vividly lingers in my mind, but there are so many other things we used to buy so much cheaper back then that it makes me regret not having thought about just perhaps buying a few litres of petrol maybe and then selling it today at what seems to be an exorbitant price.

Okay, so that was a very simplistic example – I mean there’s liquid loss and all that stuff and it would be a bit dodgy trying to sell someone a few litres of petrol from the early nineties, but I’m just trying to drive a point home here. The point is economics is a very strange subject of study and an even stranger concept as a system by which we live. I mean really, who makes the rules? Do they make sense to you? They certainly don’t make too much sense to me…

For the life of me, I particularly don’t understand why it’s all about growth, growth and more growth…Until when do we expect to see growth?

Money is losing value as time ticks by, which means the buying power of a singular pound gets diminished with the passage of time. You could have bought a lot more with 10 GBP last year than what you can get this year. Sure, you can cite that as the basic laws of economics and sure enough it is, but what kind of sense does it make?

You can even go as far as making use of official terms and cite inflation, but still, why does it have to be like this? Does it have to be like this in the first place?

How long are we as the human race going to keep printing more and more money just so that enough of it can circulate among the ever-growing population? If we look at the fundamentals of inflation due to the increasing money-supply – doesn’t it all just defeat the purpose of incrementally earning more money if it just means that you effectively have to carry more currency to be able to afford the exact same value you could a couple or more years ago? Is it not just an extra burden on everybody for us to have to handle larger sums of money as a result of the constant eroding of that money’s buying power?

Growth is spoken about with reference to GDP and the likes and it’s all about more, more, more…

The Stock Exchange GROWS as a result of more people trading nothingness on it and enriching the brokers, and you get an incremental raise in salary but really it means nothing because you still have to work the same hours to be able to afford buying the same quantity of goods you stock up on…

So what has growth got to do with it, really? Is it a mask to hide the fact that we’re being made to work longer and harder for less remuneration in terms of the value we get out of it?

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Tim Spafford

Tim is a student who works hard to get a degree in finance and build a successful career in business consulting. Being a student and living in London Tim has a real-life experience in budgeting, saving, money making, traveling and having fun.