In April 2016, the RSA launched its 'Inclusive Growth Commission', chaired by Stephanie Flanders. In the latest Green House Gas, Jonathan Essex and Rupert Read question some of the fundamental assumptions of the Commission's work, and especially its failure to question the primacy of the growth imperative and to recognise that this imperative has for decades now served in practice to prevent redistribution - genuine inclusivity.
Summary of Green House’s concerns:
- The objective of ‘inclusion’ is a good one; the objective of ‘growth’ is not. It is in fact counter-productive to inclusion, provided that one’s perspective on inclusion is long-termist enough.
- It is extraordinary and unacceptable not to consider environmental (and social) limits to growth at all, especially in the work of a Commission focused on inclusion.
- The dirty secret of growth is that it is often proposed as a substitute for sharing, for redistribution of wealth. The IGC unfortunately fails to see this.