Abstract: Producers and distributors as well as consumers are using frequently more technical products that enhance their cost efficiency and their economic (and social) competitiveness. This has sweeping distributive consequences which are inescapable. This effect is not restricted to a certain economic system, but requires only the fact that higher efficiency directs demand toward the more efficient suppliers. Two socio-economic factors are in my opinion key forces of economic growth: (1) The existence of an economic rent due to physical properties of matter systematically distorts economic competition. We can’t stop growing because we don’t stop feeding material into the economic circuit, transforming it into achievement that we can sell for a fraction of its value. Technical efficiency becomes an offer nobody can refuse. (2) Certain technical consumer goods give consumers access to cost saving ways of distribution, thereby promoting corresponding business models (eg. internet shopping), while traditional businesses get under pressure and finally must give up. The technical progress results in a frequently increasing “efficiency consumption“.
There is no paper for this media entry. This was a contribution to a scientific session at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014, which doesn’t exist in written format or is not published under open access.