Another indirect adverse effect of environmental degradation on economic well-being arises from the effect of the degradation on people’s perception of their economic condition.
A further illustration of the erroneously perceived conflict between environmental conservation and economic well-being lies in this frequent reaction to some piece of environmental devastation: “Oh, well, at least it creates jobs for some people who wouldn’t have one otherwise.”
Certainly the degradation will keep some people busy for a while, but because of the depletion of the resource on which their jobs depend, there will be a net loss of jobs. ... Read more
Good Trends, Not Good Conditions
It is not the intention in this blog to establish a perfect world of perfect conditions. Such a thing has been imagined and described by many in the past, but it must always remain an abstract possibility in the indefinite future. ... Read more
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
This digression takes another journey over ground traversed in the post “Digression – Resource Consumption, jobs, and ‘Hands Off’ ” and in the Foreword.
In the foregoing discussion of pensions there appears to be a contradiction – the current trend of pension payments threatens severe economic dislocation, but such dislocation slows throughput and conserves wealth. ... Read more
The Great Depression of the 1930’s has been very thoroughly gone over in the literature and there would be no need to mention it here except that it is necessary to describe it in terms of the concepts presented in these posts and to link it with the present day. ... Read more
So, environmental conservation must be the primary goal, and economic well-being depends on it – not the other way round.
That last phrase refers to the spurious argument that economic “progress” as currently understood, i.e., increasing throughput of wealth, provides money which can be spent on conserving the environment. ... Read more
The Australian Government has recently announced revised, reduced targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. There has been some objection to this but it should not really be surprising.
Governments around the world have shown that they just don’t get it. ... Read more
When dealing with economics, we are confronted by a large array of interdependent static and dynamic variables. A change in one effects changes in all, which in turn affect the variable first changed, through its interdependence with the rest.
Cybernetics is perhaps most appropriate for the treatment of economic matters. ... Read more
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