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 Continue reading

Global Inequalities in Wealth

Another misconception held by many in both “rich” and “poor” countries is that the “rich” should go on making and using ever more goods and services, thereby “creating wealth” that can somehow find its way to the “poor” nations, making them “richer”.  … Read more

Population and Wealth

A magazine article cited, as one reason for improving safety in the home and reducing deaths and injuries to children, the argument that the deaths and injuries were a cost to the nation because of the loss of “production” of goods and services which those children, had they become healthy adults, would have accomplished in their lifetime.  … Read more

Train Wreck and Renewal

In setting forth the ideas in the book ‘Economics for a Round Earth’ I did not expect that they would rapidly be taken up as policy and that the global economy would thus be set on a radically different, sustainable path, in time to avoid pain.  … Read more

Expenditure on Weapons

Huge sums are spent by governments on weapons and troops, particularly in certain countries. There are two remedies for this drain on government expenditure, one long-term and one short-term.

The long-term answer lies in the evolution of the world community towards political and economic unity – that is unity in the cooperative rather than in the monolithic sense.  … 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

Living Standard and Quality of Life

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

Digression: Depletion and Inflation

Throughput of resources, a first derivative of wealth, is of two kinds, gross and net. Net throughput is the flow of goods and services in the economy. Gross throughput is net throughput plus the resources required to extract and process wealth into these goods and services.  … Read more

Environment versus Economic Progress

The fierce conflicts between conservationists on one side and workers, industrialists, and some politicians on the other arise from a misconception.

Both parties in fact desire the same goal – economic well-being. But the latter and many of the former believe that environmental conservation and economic progress are conflicting aims, between which a balance or compromise must be found.  … Read more

Digression: Bad Economics Good for Conservation?

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

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