I don't know how or where this "grow or die" idea began, but it's just plain wrong. You can't have infinite growth within a finite market.
The market is not finite. It is subject to continuous inflation of the currency at levels currently exceeding 10%,
due to the fed's shenanigans including "Quantitative Easing".
If there is not at least enough growth in earnings justifying the current stock price to offset inflation PLUS
taxes on additional dividends and deferred taxes ("taxes on the growth"), then investors are actually losing money,
and should therefore refrain from investing their money in the losing proposition.
For example.. if you buy $10,000 in stock of company X. In 1 year due to inflation, you have lost $1,000 just from
inflation. Then for your investment to retain just the initial value, the company needs to have grown in underlying
capital value and earnings sufficiently at least so that your investment is now worth $1000 more PLUS the deferred
taxes attributable to $1000, so... essentially minimum $1350 in growth.
If your initial $10k investment is not worth $11,350 at the end of Year 1, then you as an investor have actually lost money
due to the decline in purchasing power of your investment.
To actually earn money, which is the point of investing.... the underlier needs to grow sufficiently
to increase the value of the company by MORE than that.
Also; populations are not fixed in size, populations are growing --- so more utility demand is occuring year-by-year.