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
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
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
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 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
So, environmental conservation must be the primary goal, and economic well-being depends on it – not the other way round.
That last phrase refers to the spurious argument that economic “progress” as currently understood, i.e., increasing throughput of wealth, provides money which can be spent on conserving the environment. ... Read more
The Australian Government has recently announced revised, reduced targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. There has been some objection to this but it should not really be surprising.
Governments around the world have shown that they just don’t get it. ... Read more