This digression makes two further comments on the statement on weapons versus other expenditure in the UN report mentioned above. One may return to this post later and go straight on to the post “Discussion of Costs Resumed”, if desired. ... Read more
People working overtime for extra pay, or purchasing more goods more often, or performing any act that increases their rates of consumption, may justify themselves or be justified by governments or the media with the argument (consistent with current economic thinking) that by doing so they are boosting the economy, creating wealth, giving employment to people. ... 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
An answer must be found to the problems of aging populations in more perfluent countries.
It has been suggested that efforts should be made to achieve and sustain a higher birthrate in the more perfluent countries, to lower the median age and create more taxable workers and more throughput to support ever rising pension demands. ... Read more
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
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
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
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
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