The fundamental defining principle of a capitalist economy is that what happens is determined by what will maximise the profits, income and wealth of the few who own most of the capital, by competing in the market place.
How do economic analyses account for the roles and impacts of both the cost and quantity of natural resource consumption?
This question has been debated perhaps as long as there has been the profession of economics. Before the use of fossil fuels, early “classical” economists knew that most products of interest, such as food and building materials, came from the land as it harnesses the energy from the sun. Thus, land as a natural resource was front-and-center to economic thinking.
Although the effects of climate change seem to be near to apocalyptic over the long term, over the
short term taking signficant action to cut emissions also appears to be a tremendous challenge.
Nordhaus’ approach to climate change mitigation highlights a general problem with how economists tend to tackle complex systems: their training makes them tend to see changes as smooth and gradual. But real-world systems, normally, do what they damn please, including crashing down in what we call the Seneca Effect.
Whether you consider yourself an economic veteran or novice, now is the time to uncover the economic graffiti that lingers in all of our minds and, if you don’t like what you find, scrub it out; or, better still, paint it over with new images that far better serve our needs and times.
If we then ask which sections of society are concerned about the environment, the answer is largely people in the least developed societies; the indigenous populations – or the remnants of them; tribal societies and first nations in Canada.
Mainstream economics seems to have learned little and changed nothing in the last decade, despite the fact that the financial crisis and its aftermath laid bare a number of important issues with its theories and models.
It’s not often that a scientist gets to use the words love, creativity, and wisdom in a paper, especially when writing about economics. Perhaps that’s because economics, the dismal science, is obsessed with dismal systems — make that abysmal systems, relative to need.
In the previous post on Chaos, Havoc, and the American Abyss, we began a discussion about the work of Peter Pogany, and how it relates to the situation we now find ourselves in with the pending Trump administration here in the U.S.
We face the real possibility that, far from a case in which we are the principals and those in charge of the economy are honest agents — with the state reflecting the spontaneous preferences of the public and the corporate economy functioning as a sort of “dollar democracy” — the actual state of affairs is one of the alleged “agents” pursuing interests of their own and using the “principals” as means to an end.
Brian Davey’s new book, Credo: Economic Beliefs in a World in Crisis, is an analysis of economic theory as if it were a system of religious belief.
Corporatism, with its promotion of competition between individuals over scarce resources and money, laid the ground for individualism and for a heightened concept of the self.