This notion may be somewhat naive and not yet properly thought out, but there are many more possible investments for corporations and government alike – for the continued increase of GDP.
I say this because there ends up being a limit to the amount of airports, shopping malls, and other facilities of mass consumption developing countries are PHYSICALLY able to build. Eventually, as developing countries reach the status of first world countries, they run out of resources (in the simplest form of land) available to keep investing in these ventures. As a result, mainstream economics accepts that the GDP of the more wealthy nations increases at a much lower rate than developing/third world countries.
However, as we have learned in class this semester, there are many other forms of investment. What about the conversion of factories’ power plants into energy saving/biodegradable means of production? Not only does this lead to increase in investment, government expenditure, and consumption in newly developed industries, it also leads to a better environment for all to live in. Inevitably, we will run out of resources, so I really think it is a good idea to start looking into these other, perhaps underdeveloped and neglected industries.
Another such investment is education, normally seen as a positive externality due to the widespread public education system in most Western nations. However, as many developing/third world nations still charge tuition for basic education, it could be another investment for government and corporate alike.
It may be a little far fetched to think about in a society where we only focus on mainstream values of investment, but investment in other socially responsible ventures may be the key to increase GDP (and perhaps pull us out of this financial crisis).
Instead of using obviously fail-prone last resort techniques such as quantitative easing, monetary wealth can be poured into research for environmental friendly techniques (why aren’t there international brands which predominantly produce clothes made from organic cotton?), better education for the population in general, and perhaps even government expenditure on health care and medicinal research.