"Growth is different from consumerism," says former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. Properly defined, growth is a measure of society's well-being, not a code word for exploitation: "Growth is really about the capacity of a nation to produce everything that’s wanted and needed by its inhabitants. That includes better stewardship of the environment as well as improved public health and better schools. ... Faster growth greases the way toward more equal opportunity and a wider distribution of gains. The wealthy more easily accept a smaller share of the gains because they can still come out ahead of where they were before. ... Slower growth has the reverse effect. Because economic gains are small, the wealthy fight harder to maintain their share."