Tag Archives: throughput
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
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. The work not done as a result of the reduction in hours per worker was supposed to require the engagement of extra hands to get it done. ... 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
Achieving a sustainable world economy would be nothing less than a great step in human evolution, comparable with the mastery of fire or the development of settled agriculture as opposed to hunting and gathering. It concerns the whole world and needs to be tackled on a world, not just a national, basis. ... Read more
The fierce conflicts between conservationists on one side and workers, industrialists, and some politicians on the other arise from a misconception.
Both parties in fact desire the same goal – economic well-being. But the latter and many of the former believe that environmental conservation and economic progress are conflicting aims, between which a balance or compromise must be found. ... Read more
The terms derivative and differential are used here in their mathematical sense, denoting rates of change.
Gross national product and living standard are treated as measures of quantity of wealth. In fact, they are not the quantity but its first derivative or first differential, the rate of wealth-throughput. ... Read more
It is necessary here to repeat a point made or implied earlier, that the level and rate of change of economic activity and the level of unemployment are to a large extent independent of one another. Not totally independent of course, each is one determinant of the other. ... Read more
It is necessary for a lender of money to charge interest because the purchasing power of each money unit is generally expected to fall with time. This has been the trend historically and the very operation of the economy tends to make it so. ... Read more