GLL – On the steady growth model

ON THE STEADY GROWTH MODEL

COURSE: Global/Local Learning– GLL

FORUM: Samarbeta

TOPICS: local global learning, growth, development

Step 2 – Part 1

Link to blog

Link to forum

Marie wrote

Like you Oscar, I question the report’s prescription for economic growth. For example, how will  more productive, less labour intensive, technologies translate into new jobs on the one hand, while on the other hand one seeks to alleviate unemployment by devolving production to use more labour intensive employment?  Surely these are lower paying positions, and don’t impact the underlying power imbalance of who is in control of capital production? It seems to me that this problem of capital intensive technology replacing labour intensive production methods is a global issue and one that will require more than local efforts to resolve.

Thanks for adding spice to my comments! (-: I remember that the issues you raise were also discussed in the course on Work and learning, specifically with regard to possible future scenarios of the work market. (Beck, U. (2000). The future of work and its scenarios: An interim balance-sheet (Chapter 4). In The brave new world of work (pp. 36-66). Cambridge, UK: Polity Press)

The issue for me is on finding an alternative to currently employed paradigms that have failed repeatedly over the decades. We need to adopt a language that is innovative, in that it clearly diverges from current and past discourses. I believe that the language introduced in this course (annotations on local/global learning) and the terminology used in people-centered discussions is appropriate for such transformational shift.

Oscar

Anita wrote:

I felt that the report’s recommendations about development were a bit vague in that they set out the goals and outcomes but not really how those could be achieved. I agree with Oscar that we need new ways of thinking, and therefore speaking (or vice versa I guess) about these issues if we are to achieve a different result in SA or globally. I think people are collectively working on re-naming and re-thinking but it will  take time and it seems clear we are not there yet. For example, I am struck by the extent to which the global response to the economic downturn has been to do more of the same. I think the emphasis on economic growth has to be abandonned in favour of language that is people-centred, and environoment-centred.

Anita,

I couldn’t agree more with what you said. (which makes it easier for me to respond to your post). I also notice a tendency to go back to better times, when everyone was happy and dancing, at least according to many people’s faulty memory. This is particularly true for the way our current economic and social stagnation has been handled by the ruling class ( the same class, more or less, that has lead us into this mess). In the case of South Africa, I feel that – in a sense – part of what has been implemented there has been a bold experiment, an attempt at  breaking away from the past…oooo and what a past!  In spite of South Africa’s GEAR Program ( as mentioned by Mohamed) and the neo-liberal approach adopted, which proves that  policies have not always worked, I still believe that certain choices – particularly with regard to education – were intentionally transformational in nature. Besides, who is to say that continuing on a collision course based on a western notion of perennial growth would yield better results? By choosing to address socio-environmental issues over maintaining the advantages of an unbalanced economic system, South African policy drafters could take a step in the right direction.

Oscar

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