A comic with two characters: a girl wearing a pink shirt, and a boy wearing a grey shirt. Character 1 says: 'So here's a concept I've never been able to understand: economic growth.' Character 2 says: 'It's been mentioned in the news a lot lately, with election time coming up again. But what's hard to understand about economic growth?' Character 1 says: 'Surely it's the overall level that matters, not the rate of growth. If the economy's stable and people are well-off, what's the problem?' Character 2 says: 'Wow, you clearly know nothing about economics. The economy has to grow every year. If things were stable it would be a disaster!' Character 1 says: 'Why, though?' Character 2 says: 'Because that's just how it works! It's been that way ever since... well, ever since the development of capitalism, I suppose.' Character 1 says: 'Ah, capitalism... Come to think of it, that's another concept where I have no idea what it means.' Character 2 says: 'Well, even economists can't agree on what capitalism *is*. But a key part of it is continuous economic growth.' Character 1 says: 'So when did capitalism start?' Character 2 says: 'I suppose during the Industrial Revolution. Better tech led to increased production, and we've had mostly continuous economic growth ever since.' Character 1 says: 'And now all these economists and politicians believe it will go on forever, because it's the only thing they've ever known?' Character 2 says: 'Pretty much.' Character 1 says: 'But in fact our many years of growth may have been a one-time windfall resulting from technological advances.' Character 2 says: 'And from burning through the planet's store of hydrocarbons.' Character 1 says: 'But surely the experts take into account that we live on a planet? Surrounded by vaccuum? And there's a Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy?' Character 2 says: 'Haha, you REALLY know nothing about economics.'

Growth

A comic with two characters: a girl wearing a pink shirt, and a boy wearing a grey shirt. Character 1 says: 'So here's a concept I've never been able to understand: economic growth.' Character 2 says: 'It's been mentioned in the news a lot lately, with election time coming up again. But what's hard to understand about economic growth?' Character 1 says: 'Surely it's the overall level that matters, not the rate of growth. If the economy's stable and people are well-off, what's the problem?' Character 2 says: 'Wow, you clearly know nothing about economics. The economy has to grow every year. If things were stable it would be a disaster!' Character 1 says: 'Why, though?' Character 2 says: 'Because that's just how it works! It's been that way ever since... well, ever since the development of capitalism, I suppose.' Character 1 says: 'Ah, capitalism... Come to think of it, that's another concept where I have no idea what it means.' Character 2 says: 'Well, even economists can't agree on what capitalism *is*. But a key part of it is continuous economic growth.' Character 1 says: 'So when did capitalism start?' Character 2 says: 'I suppose during the Industrial Revolution. Better tech led to increased production, and we've had mostly continuous economic growth ever since.' Character 1 says: 'And now all these economists and politicians believe it will go on forever, because it's the only thing they've ever known?' Character 2 says: 'Pretty much.' Character 1 says: 'But in fact our many years of growth may have been a one-time windfall resulting from technological advances.' Character 2 says: 'And from burning through the planet's store of hydrocarbons.' Character 1 says: 'But surely the experts take into account that we live on a planet? Surrounded by vaccuum? And there's a Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy?' Character 2 says: 'Haha, you REALLY know nothing about economics.'

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