Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Thinking about growth

I read in today's local paper that the local Chamber of Commerce advocates opening up a local airport to commercial travel because it would help local business grow. I also read in a different story in the same paper that the county population is expected to grow by 45% over the next 20 years, taxing local systems (and people, too, it seems).

I am not against growth. I am against growth. I want my business to grow; it's still new. I want us to avoid stressing the planet more than it can tolerate.

I sense business has gotten associated with "growth is (always) good," and that makes me wonder. We know that growth has limits.

Aside: if some of us (i.e., some of you) don't think growth has limits, search the 'net for the story of the pauper who asked the king to place one grain of rice on the first square on a chessboard, 2 on the second, 4 on the third, and so forth, or check out Not good news; what do we do about it?

What are the desired limits to growth from the perspective of business? Shouldn't we have (visible) discussions about that? Shouldn't we include those in our discussions who might think differently than we do, so we reduce the chance we get stuck in an unhelpful mindset? Or do we leave it all to the invisible hand to keep us from trying to fill up that chessboard?


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