What's a viable alternative to economic growth?

If the rule of the free market is to charge whatever the market will bear, are we as consumers and workers not stupid to strain harder and work longer to be able to pay prices which will be jacked up due to the fact that we can spend more money through that? And: Would it therefore not be better to turn the... show more If the rule of the free market is to charge whatever the market will bear, are we as consumers and workers not stupid to strain harder and work longer to be able to pay prices which will be jacked up due to the fact that we can spend more money through that?

And:

Would it therefore not be better to turn the tables and refuse to work longer and earn more, simply demand more time for ourselves, and thereby send prices and working times plummeting?

All we would need to do is sit it out until prices go down due to lack of demand. And yes, that might be called a recession, but where does the straining end? Humans need to sleep. And there are only 24 hours in a day. Eternal, exponential growth, I've always thought, is simply a mathematical impossibility - or not?

Wouldn't it be wise of us to slow down before we crash? What are your views? Can this be done?
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