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

Concepts and Terms – What is ‘wealth’?

The world economy isn’t working as well as it should and could. Some countries that enjoyed for some years near full employment, low interest rates, and a bearable rate of price increases, with fast-rising material living standards, all achieved without anything like current high levels of government and private debt, do so no longer.  ... 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

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."

Digression: the Private Motor Car – a Basic Necessity?

The transport policy referred to in the previous post, where everyone is expected to undertake all journeys in their own big car, has become so entrenched in many countries over the last fifty years that it seems impossible to change or modify.  ... 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

Ends and Means

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

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

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

The Idea of Proportionate Flows Applied to Wages: the Great Depression

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

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