Is economic growth essential for well-being?

Image courtesy of TaxBrackets.org

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The scramble to avoid a Greek default

Crunch time is rapidly approaching for Greece, as its ruling coalition fail to reach agreement on austerity cuts. In return, its private creditors have ‘volunteered’ – with the barest minimum of Troika arm-twisting – to reductions in Greek debt of around 70 per cent. If nothing is signed up to by 20 March, when €14.5bn has to be rolled over, Greece will face little choice but to default.

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Life before death

First thing on a Monday morning - surely the best time to contemplate life and death? In the Guardian last week there was an article about an Australian nurse who cared for people in their last 12 weeks of life and what she learnt about their regrets. Whilst I can’t vouch for the scientific validity of the study it is certainly true that we will all die, and that many of us will have a chance to reflect on our lives as we approach death. Did we do the things we would have liked to? More

Clinging to economic growth suffocates the imagination

Originally posted at Comment is free.

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Coproduction and the Core Economy: A solution to “Care in Crisis”

One of the many long-running gags in popular US cartoon series The Simpsons is the hopelessly depressing life led by Abe Simpson, unfortunate father of the less than attentive Homer. More

Despite last week’s tragedies, we’re winning the fight on youth imprisonment

Last week was a tragic one in the prison system. The apparent suicide of two teenagers in separate incidents has thrown the spotlight back on the youth prison system. These incidents call into question the ability of young offenders institutions to provide proper care for the children in their care. There were many warning signs. More

Davos 2012: The Great Transformation

The theme of this year's Davos meeting was the 'Great Transformation'. Over the last three years nef has argued a similar line, promoting the need for what we call a Great Transition. 

Our unique strength as an organisation is that we have a very clear analysis of the systemic and international problems advanced economies are currenly facing. We understand how sustainability challenges link with inequality, with increasing instability of economies, and how all of these affect human well-being.

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Cap bonuses, not benefits

If nothing else, the habit of blaming the victims in times of economic crisis is remarkably consistent. Making the behaviour of people receiving welfare benefits in times of high structural unemployment the focus of debate, is a convenient political trick to distract attention from the failure of government economic policy. It was used repeatedly during recessions in the 1980s and 1990s by a government that thought high unemployment was ‘a price worth paying’ to control inflation.

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Obama gets it, why don’t we?

I received a flurry of emails and texts yesterday informing me that Obama had just pronounced inequality as the most important debate of our time… I might have fallen over myself rushing to get to the laptop had it not already been on my lap.

Low and behold, amidst all the nationalistic rhetoric in the State of the Union address, was the message that America needs to tackle growing economic inequality, and fast.

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Hester’s bonus is a distraction

We should not be in too much of a hurry to celebrate the RBS Chief's decision to forego his annual bonus. The excessive remuneration of bankers (as well as City accountants and lawyers) is merely a symptom of a wider problem; a financial sector that has learnt how to ruthlessly exploit its privileged position in the economy.

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