Economic growth makes rich countries. It also — at the dawn of the 21st century — raises a lot of questions about the impact of unending growth on the environment, on endless sprawl, on cultures thrown into the spin cycle of globalization.
Bigfoot economist Benjamin Friedman says get over it. Growth, he says — in a big, provocative new book — doesn't just float economic boats. It is vital to sustaining morality itself, to nurturing openness, tolerance, fairness and democracy.
If that makes greens see red, there's a zing for conservatives here, too. American growth today, Friedman says, is so tilted to the rich that it doesn't count.
Hear a conversation with Benjamin Friedman about economic growth and the good society.
Benjamin Friedman, professor of political economy at Harvard University and author of "The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth."
This program aired on January 11, 2006.