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Exploring the feelings behind the worldview theme--another project WORLDVIEW  theme song...  

song for theme #22A: Expansionism (Economic)

“Economic Growth Will Lift Us All” by Stephen P. Cook

to be sung to the tune of “Stairway to Heaven” by James Patrick, Robert Plant / Led Zepplin


Economists are sure all that matters is growth

And economic growth1 will lift us all

Their concurrency floats: rising tide lifts all boats

There’s wisdom behind their declaration

Truu….uust: Economic growth will lift us all


There’s a rule in the book, you can go take a look2

It’s called the rule of seventy two

Divide seventy two by growth rate per year

To get doubling time of what’s growing3


Ooooooooooooooooh  I hear the thunder

Ooooooooooooooooh  I hear the thunder

Clouds gather in the west

Proclaim those who know best

They’re depending on it to keep raining

Soon pennies from heaven4, like yeast used to leaven

Will lift all boats in steady rising


Ooooooooooooooooh  I hear the thunder

Ooooooooooooooooh  I hear the thunder

Of Noah flood type breakdown

Preach a few maverick clowns

And talk of limits and ethics

Their sustainability path: we’ll all take a bath

Everyone will be equally poor


That misery from inequality, give it no thought now

Policy should focus on growth rate

Pollution we’ll manage, corruption no damage

There’s no need to change the course we’re on

And I hear the thunder


Reward productivity5 and new technology

Good investment advice to heed

And high growth emerging markets

Make them your targets

Economic development6 we need


[tempo of background music picks up dramatically,

as does intensity of lyrics to come…]


And so we use our crystal ball

To assess a world as rain falls

Let economic growth not stall

Four percent a year no trouble

In eighteen years output doubles

Thirty two times more in ninety years7

Our planet can’t take it some fear8

Others see the promised land:

Poverty is gone, life is grand

[subdued and slow] 

And economic growth will lift us all


1—As measured by the rate in % per year of a nation's growth of real gross domestic product per capita

2—See the Wikipedia article “Rule of 72” for example.

3—Example: An economy growing at a rate of 3% per year means that the economic output will roughly double in 72 / 3 = 24 yrs. 

4—Title of 1950s song w/ lyrics “Every time it rains, it rains: pennies from heaven.”

5— Productivity refers to production output per unit of input.      

6— Economic development is about improving the quality of human life, especially in poor countries. 

7— 90 yrs = 5 x 18 yrs = 5 doubling times 2— so five doublings means 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 32 times more

8— The concern is our planet’s “carrying capacity” will be exceeded resulting in environmental collapse

Comment: Theme proponents argue economic growth è good job è material needs met è physical well being è emotional well being. Critics scoff that extreme focus on growth is a societal maladaptive coping strategy: a short term fix that avoids root causes of much stress: inequality, corruption, pollution, crowding.

                      back to theme #22A

the above song is part of The Worldview Theme Song Book: Exploring the Feelings Behind Worldviews--click here for more information

Musicians--We'd love it if you perform this song!  Please contact us!