During the 1970′s and 1980′s governments and people generally in the more perfluent nations were waiting for an economic “upturn” or “recovery” to reduce what had become chronic high unemployment. The underlying assumption was that the high throughput-increase rates, the so-called “economic growth” rates of the 1950′s and 1960′s, were normal and that the more sluggish throughput-increase (TI) rates of latter years were an abnormal phenomenon that could be expected to speed up in time through this or that brilliant policy initiative or going back to the early economics of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; or by eliminating (depending on your point of view) businessmen, unions, migrants, taxes, civil servants, or computers; or just by waiting. … Read more
Real wage and material living standard will be treated as different terms for the same variable.
The real wage, however, is not the same as the money wage. The real wage is the access to goods and services given to a worker in exchange for their labour. … 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
Material living standards are a function of three main variables – net throughput (Tn), population, and the prevailing distribution (D) of Tn among different social and occupational groups.
Tn is a function of available wealth, the state of technology, wealth renewal rates, human values, D and the proportionate flow of money through different economic channels. … Read more
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
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
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
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
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
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