The idea that growth is beneficial underlies the economic strategies of all major political parties, but the reality of recent years is that the negative effects of growth have far outweighed any positive ones. In Ireland growth has been the root cause of unemployment; in Britain it has led to an eightfold increase in crime, the breakdown of family life and a deterioration in general levels of health and education; in the USA real incomes have fallen; in India people have been driven from the land into urban slums; and the natural world suffers increasing threat and inexorable erosion. The Growth Illusion exposes the real nature of undirected economic growth, and refutes Adam Smith's belief in the 'invisible hand' ensuring that self-interest would serve the common good. Rather than strive for constant expansion to stave off collapse, nations must learn to build stable economies. This new edition updates the text with an analysis of recent developments in the UK - and elsewhere.