Prospects for growth are bleak because growth is not the problem. It’s the oil, automobile and detached-home philosophy.
That idea becomes inexorably bleaker whenever people talk as though that is what we want to revive.
It will not happen.
We have already won the economic war worldwide in a sadly ironic sense. All the world has bit on the obsolete American formula — the Henry Ford one — hook line and sinker. We are simply farther along on the evolutionary curve to obsolescence.
A single observation makes the point. The economic viability of a population dispersed as metrosprawl, living in detached homes and driving everywhere, oil-dependently, is one fifth that of a population living in an urban setting. This economic viability would increase to the extent that human settlements began to became denser pedestrian neighborhoods with a growing mix of essential institutions and commercial enterprises within walking distance. Linked by public conveyances.
Recalibrating and reconceptualizing the basics of community and pattern language are the keys to future economic viability. Growth will refer to human beings.
The new jobs that will result from recalibration will replace the jobs lost trying to push an economy that will not work now or ever again in the future.