Sit You Down Father, Rest You

14 08 2008

By Teasome

 

Economicsfairy:

 

About calming down the economy. When Katkins was talking about it in Glasgow, I found her conversations erm… strange. In fact; she was asking questions like ‘Do we need economic growth’ etc. For the then blue-eyed economist in me it sounded almost blasphemous. No, perhaps simply strange. Not any more, of course. Now, Katkins, I would agree. To hell with economic growth.

 

I was just thinking, as I mentioned earlier, about renewable energy. I will extend on this one. Say, we build wind turbines. One doesn’t make them out of wood or stone. One makes them out of materials which are essentially petrochemicals. So how is that renewable?

 

A TEMPORARY answer to that would be: use less petrochemicals right now for other things, and make wind turbines instead. Instead of coca-cola bottles and ugly Chinese dolls. And other trash. Alright, I thought. But millions people, supposedly, are employed in producing and marketing all that trash, mainly in materially worse-off countries. However, come to think of that, do we really need that much employment? Suppose there is a global change in values. People choose a different lifestyle. They work less (globally), produce less, consume less. Demand falls, prices fall, wages fall, employment should be just about right! Katkins, was that what you were saying?

 

I don’t know though what to do with this issue long term. How will we receive energy in the future, once we have recycled and reused all our petrochemicals? Back to wooden mills? Hah. This is when I get Malthusian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One response

14 08 2008
economicsfairy

Hi T,

great to read all your posts. We’re getting somewhere here … 😉
Anyway, I think the growth idea shouldn’t be rejected that easily – it all depends on the type of growth and its quality. If “growth” just means (as it does right now in conventional economics) more of all the crap that we already have without taking into account the environmental, social, psychological and personal costs (that accrue in the mid- to long-run), then of course: To hell with growth!

But growth can also mean more of: life quality-enhancing (or life-saving) products, alternative therapies (that do really work and are not just a waste of time and money), books that help people, good quality and healthy food, events that bring people together, construction of environmentally “okay” buildings, the invention of new energies, sensible and useful research, fantastic childcare, economic and political consulting that takes ethics more into account, Fair Trade, investment funds with ethical labels …..

Growth in itself is not bad. We all want to grow. But how?

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