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Edit  DeletePriority 2Expires Nov 13, 2017
Costa Rica is a thorn in the side of orthodox economics, says anthropoligist Jason Hickel at the London School of Economics in The Guardian. The conventional wisdom holds that high GDP is essential for longevity: "wealthier is healthier", as former World Bank chief economist Larry Summers put it in a famous paper. But Costa Rica shows that we can achieve human progress without much GDP at all, and therefore without triggering ecological collapse. In fact, the part of Costa Rica where people live the longest, happiest lives - the Nicoya Peninsula - is also the poorest, in terms of GDP per capita.

Costa Rica proves that rich countries could theoretically ease their consumption by half or more while maintaining or even increasing their human development indicators. Of course, getting there would require that we devise a new economic system that doesn't require endless growth just to stay afloat. That's a challenge, to be sure, but it's possible.

After all, once we have excellent universal healthcare, education, and affordable housing, what will endlessly more income growth gain us? Maybe bigger TVs, flashier cars, and expensive holidays. But not more happiness, or stronger communities, or more time with our families and friends. Not more peace or more stability, fresher air or cleaner rivers. Past a certain point, GDP gains us nothing when it comes to what really matters. In an age of climate change, where the pursuit of ever more GDP is actively dangerous, we need a different approach.

Read his full article: https://www.theguardian.com/working-in-development/2017/oct/07/how-to-avert-the-apocalypse-take-lessons-from-costa-rica
Editorial Staff2017-10-15T01:36:02Z
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