Review of 1988 edition of Economics for a Round Earth

” . . a most useful work in enhancing my comprehension of the interaction between the discourses of economics and environmental conservation.” Continue reading

Digression: Thrift versus Spendthrift

Merely transferring money into the wages channel, increasing the spending power of consumers without forcing them to borrow, is of course not enough; the spending power must be translated into effective demand, with increased spending and consumption actually taking place – the more the better.  … Read more

Digression: Flat Earth Economics; Capitalist and Communist Varieties Contrasted

Communist systems could not be maintained without coercion and authoritarianism, which tended to exclude the great majority of the people from participation in administration and policymaking.

Communication with the governed was restricted because suggestions for change or adjustment of policy were regarded by the government as criticism and therefore as a potential threat; and by the governed as an act of daring best not undertaken.  … Read more

Minerals in National Parks – Leave Them in the Ground?

The extraction of minerals often leads not just to the consumption and depletion of the mined material, but also to the unintended but unavoidable consumption and depletion of rich and necessary biological resources, which are quite wasted in the process.  … 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

The Decline and Rise of Nations

I was asked recently if I thought that American dominance of the world was over, if America would decline like other great powers before it, and what nation would take its place.

I replied that the old idea of a nation becoming ‘great’ and ‘wealthy’ by hugely increasing its consumption and getting control of other nations to keep its own consumption growing, had always been part of human history, but would be quite inappropriate for the future.  … 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

Costs – What Really Costs Us and What Doesn’t?

A new definition of costs is also required. The term at present is muddled and confused in general usage.

Wealth loss versus Throughput Reduction

Any outlay of money in a national economy is regarded as a “cost” to the nation in the sense of some loss of wealth.  … 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

Budget Balancing Methods – Cost or Gain?

Measures to reduce expenditure and increase revenue raising by governments will often be seen in current economic terms as “costs” to the nation. But if seen in the light of the ideas put forward in the post about “Costs – What Really Costs Us and What Doesn’t?” they are economic gains.  … Read more

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