Digression: Caution about “Increases” and “Decreases”

These increases or decreases, it must be emphasised, would be not necessarily absolute, but relative to what real wages would have been, depending on other variables, if the money wage change had not taken place. It is necessary to be reminded constantly that we are dealing with an array of interdependent dynamic variables.  ... Read more

Value Inflation – the Trigger, not the Bullet

The direct addition of value inflation to the rate of price increases is quite small. The larger effect arises from secondary influences, in whose shaping human psychology plays an important part. These influences are triggered by the small value inflation component and its corollary, a slowing of the rate of net throughput increase relative to gross throughput increase.  ... Read more

Who needs the Snail Darter?

A subtle, indirect but nevertheless important further way in which environmental depletion damages economic health is through the extinction of species.

A particular species may not be throughput directly in the sense that a particular economic activity is based directly on that species.  ... Read more

Evolution Not Revolution

Achieving a sustainable world economy would be nothing less than a great step in human evolution, comparable with the mastery of fire or the development of settled agriculture as opposed to hunting and gathering. It concerns the whole world and needs to be tackled on a world, not just a national, basis.  ... Read more

When will the Economy get Back to ‘Normal’?

Someone asked me the other day if I thought the world economy would get back to ‘normal’ this year.

By ‘normal’ this person meant the familiar unsustainable economic pattern of ever-growing consumption. I explained that this might well happen for a while, but because it was not sustainable it would run into trouble and be stalled again in some way, as it was late in 2008 and has been before in recent history.  ... Read more

The Effect of People’s Expectations

The factor of people’s expectations, left out of this discussion so far, would change the outcome somewhat.

The effect of rising expectations would be to stop the “boom” and return to “stagflationary” conditions sooner than if resource depletion alone were the depressing factor.  ... Read more

Economic Growth Redefined

A more accurate definition of economic growth would be any change in the relation between the throughput and renewal rates, for a given resource for which throughput exceeds renewal, in which change the ratio of the throughput rate to the renewal rate falls, or conversely the ratio of renewal to throughput increases.  ... Read more

Digression: Work and Jobs

The Mitterand socialist government in France during the 1980’s hoped to create tens of thousands of jobs by cutting working hours. The basic working week was to carry the same pay, therefore each hour worked was to carry more pay.  ... Read more

Twirly Light Globes and Hummers

Unless we liberate ourselves from this obsession with big single-occupant cars and become obsessed instead with logic and practicality, the fight against global warming will fail

The Tyranny of Vested Interests

In 1964, the ship Alkimos was wrecked on a reef off the coast of Western Australia at a time when our largest city, Perth’s, suburban sprawl had not reached that far. The ship was Greek but had a varied and colourful history, including on-board murders and criminal activity, under different names and flags.  ... Read more

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