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Reality Report: Jon Erickson

Explanations of the economic downturn focus on greed, corruption, incompetence and inequality. But this isn’t the whole story. The Reality Report interviews Jon D. Erickson, Professor at the University of Vermont and Fellow of the Gund Institute of Ecological Economics.

Some key points that emerge from the show are: (1) the economic decline is a predicable consequence of a faulty set of theories and deliberate policies, (2) most economic growth nowadays is “uneconomic” because the costs exceed the benefits, both socially and via ecological debts (3) the biophysical basis for the economy is still ignored and therefore the ability to expand the economy to pay back debts may be limited, (4) recent U.S. and G20 responses to the crisis thus far are incomplete and therefore not likely to succeed, (5) several suggestions for reform are given, including: using green indicators, not GDP, to measure the macroeconomy, regional planning for relocalized economies, and a form of money backed by tangibles, not debt.

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