Journal of Post Keynesian Economics / Summer 2009, Vol. 31, No. 4 707
This paper postulates the existence of a growth imperative in capitalist economies. The argument is based on a simple circular flow model of a pure credit economy, where production takes time. In this economy, positive growth rates are necessary in the long run in order to enable firms to make profits in the aggregate. If the growth rate falls below a certain positive threshold level, firms will make losses. Under these circumstances, they will go out of business, which moves the whole economy into a downward spiral. According to the model presented, capitalist economies can either grow (at a sufficiently high rate) or shrink if the growth rate falls below the positive threshold level. Therefore, a zero growth economy is not feasible in the long run.