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  • jpfi

    I wonder if it might not be useful to try to establish some metrics for a sustainable society? There is much agreement at TAE about the severe problems at hand, but not much on offer for an alternative to the current “economics”.

    For example as “economic” measures of sustainability:
    1) the per capita yearly energy consumption
    2) the per capita yearly kilograms of waste
    3) the per capita purchase of new tangible goods

    Notably a DECLINE in all these measures not an increase indicate economic “success”. Since they can not decline below zero, economic “bubbles” can not occur. Debt issuance can not masquerade as economic success via the magic of limitless “growth”.

    These measures are all of the consumption of immutable physical properties that can not, unlike money, be impossible to “value”. Also, sustainability implies limits to consumption. The less consumption, the more sustainable seems axiomatic.

    The switch to measures where a decrease rather than increase is an economic “good” would completely change how societies view “success”.

    in reply to: If We Get Even The Simplest Things Wrong .. #13767

    To paraphrase Upton Sinclair: Its difficult to get a man to understand something when his comfort depends upon his not understanding it.

    Ergo; debt, deficit, fossil fuel depletion, climate change are not understandable.

    As the tobacco guys said “our message is doubt”. The climate change deniers have now taken up the cause.

    Maybe TAE should do the same? Where is the proof that the economy can grow forever? Where is the proof that your pension is going to be paid? Maybe the seeds of doubt grow better in the human mind than obvious but uncomfortable facts.


    Communism – resource allocation done centrally with “five year plans”

    Capitalism – resource allocation done by “investors” using the stock market

    Central banks using the stock market. Capitalism morphed to communism? Maybe the communists have “won” after all?



    Energy provides the ability to “do things”.
    Power provides the ability to “do things fast”.

    No energy – no life.
    Too little power – no jet planes

    in reply to: Deflation, A Stock Market Crash And Then Christmas #9008

    If it is accepted that never ending growth is not possible, does it not follow that deflation – and the subsequent slowing down of material consumption and money velocity – is a step in the right direction?

    Is deflation not inevitable as the material resources of the planet are depleted? Is the currently increasing degree of deflation an indication of physical reality as well as economic (un)reality?

    Regards, and thanks for this site,


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