World growth will begin to slow as a result of increased oil prices” squawks the International Monetary Fund’s latest news release.

The IMF mathematical calculation is spot on. However – surprise surprise – the news coverage generated by this is missing three very important points:

1. Oil is finite. Therefore prices are inevitably going to rise as time goes on, because that’s how the free market works.

2. All resources are finite. We have only one planet, for a start. Therefore you can’t have endless economic growth. The idea is nonsensical.

3. Economic “growth” is simply a sly way of saying “increasing the gap between rich and poor”, surely? For every extra buck made by a shareholder, the world loses a little of its natural resources, or space, or air quality. And usually the parts of the world which are most impoverished financially are the parts which suffer the most degraded quality of life as well. Why do journalists paid by huge media conglomerates write about “growth” as though it’s an unequivocally good thing? (Oh wait, the clue’s in the question. Arf.)

Might I respectfully suggest that instead of firing off hysterical news releases, the IMF put their public relations staff to work promoting a new economic model based on something slightly more grown up than wishful thinking, elitism and greed?

Soundtrack to this post: Dirty Cash – The Adventures of Stevie V