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
It is necessary here to repeat a point made or implied earlier, that the level and rate of change of economic activity and the level of unemployment are to a large extent independent of one another. Not totally independent of course, each is one determinant of the other. … Read more
This technology promises to expand the amount of fissionable fuel available from natural uranium by a factor of about 60, by “breeding” more fuel than it consumes. This doesn’t change the non-renewable nature of the total uranium resource, but it does promise to make it so abundant as to encourage a casual attitude towards energy conservation. … Read more
There are four main opinions on the subject of global warming:
1) It’s not happening.
2) It’s happening but has causes other than anthropogenic increases in the atmospheric carbon dioxide content, for instance the precession of the nodes of the earth’s orbit and cyclical variations in the sun’s radiation.
A major problem for economies around the world is government debt. This matter has been mentioned in other posts. Many governments have been running a deficit on their annual budget for years. It is not universally realised that these deficits are cumulative. … Read more
To repeat in another way a point discussed earlier, there is an achievable optimum flow of money through the aggregate income (wages plus social welfare) channel in relation to the flow through other channels. The optimum state is characterised in two ways: (i) full employment, that is no involuntary employment of able people, prevails; (ii) economic activity, the wealth throughput rate, is at the maximum possible within the constraints imposed by other factors. … Read more
To come back to the subject of capitalism versus communism, the real extreme, the true opposite polarity, would be between flat-earth economics and a new economics, round-earth economics. The latter not only assumes the earth’s capacity as a source and sink to be limited, but incorporates these limits as directly relevant and determinative in every sphere of economic life. … Read more
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
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
I was reading a popular news magazine last week and two stories followed each other directly. They described events in two neighbouring continents, North and South America. Yet they might have been describing events on two remotely separated planets.
The first story was about an Italian car-industry expert who has, in the past few years, restored the Chrysler motor company to profitability. … Read more