The extraction of minerals often leads not just to the consumption and depletion of the mined material, but also to the unintended but unavoidable consumption and depletion of rich and necessary biological resources, which are quite wasted in the process. ... Read more
First, it will be noted that things that common sense tells us are always good, such as efficient government or nuclear disarmament, or always bad, such as strikes or cartels, may actually be bed sometimes and good other times depending on the circumstances. ... Read more
In terms of physically damaging, poisoning, or depleting the earth’s living environment, there are no such things as visual or noise pollution.
These are red herrings in the sense that, for example, people who object to the noise of rock music, traffic, or children at play, or object to the replacement of an ornamental old building by a stark new one, feel entitled to attach their cause to the environmental cause (feeling licensed by the use of the word “pollution” in describing what they object to), thereby distracting attention from issues of real importance to the living environment and diverting energy that should go into resolving those issues in the environment’s favour. ... Read more
In 1964, the ship Alkimos was wrecked on a reef off the coast of Western Australia at a time when our largest city, Perth’s, suburban sprawl had not reached that far. The ship was Greek but had a varied and colourful history, including on-board murders and criminal activity, under different names and flags. ... 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
Oil price goes down – whoopee
The price of crude oil dropped dramatically last year. This was not unexpected – supply and demand of this resource are finely balanced, so that any political or economic disturbance can cause large fluctuations. ... Read more
The plan which eventually became acceptable, more readily under pressure of the Second World War, was that of deficit spending, whereby the government deliberately set out to spend more than they received through taxes, duties, and charges. The gap could be filled by borrowing, thereby mobilising stagnant funds. ... Read more
To repeat in another way a point discussed earlier, there is an achievable optimum flow of money through the aggregate income (wages plus social welfare) channel in relation to the flow through other channels. The optimum state is characterised in two ways: (i) full employment, that is no involuntary employment of able people, prevails; (ii) economic activity, the wealth throughput rate, is at the maximum possible within the constraints imposed by other factors. ... Read more
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