Lunacy of economic growth

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Lunacy of economic growth

#1  Postby the_5th_ape » Apr 04, 2013 11:34 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOQzD6aEay4[/youtube]
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#2  Postby Tomas Kringen » Apr 05, 2013 1:03 pm

Infinite growth of a finite planet is coming to an end now that "The Growth" is reaching its peak.

[youtube]www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZT6YpCsapg[/youtube]
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#3  Postby Jakov » Apr 05, 2013 2:37 pm

You cannot have capitalism without economic growth as a goal.
Capitalists want their wealth to grow, it doesn't grow by magic but by somebody working. They invest money in an enterprise with no incentive to protect the environment, employ workers to produce value then pay the workers a lower salary than their labour is worth. The difference is kept by the capitalist as profit and they call it 'economic growth'.
So widespread poverty and environmental destruction are not mistakes, they are the system working as it should.
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#4  Postby Tomas Kringen » Apr 05, 2013 2:49 pm

Jakov wrote:You cannot have capitalism without economic growth as a goal.


Yes you can! Capitalism is respect for property, nothing more.


Capitalists want their wealth to grow, it doesn't grow by magic but by somebody working.


Wrong. You mean only capitalists don't want more wealth, I guess poor socialists are happy being poor then?
And what is this "somebody working", you mean capitalists don't work?





They invest money in an enterprise with no incentive to protect the environment So widespread poverty and environmental destruction are not mistakes, they are the system working as it should.


Wrong#again# A capitalist is just as moral as you, a capitalist doesn't care any less about the environment than you. Damage to the environment is not a capitalist trait#look at all the environmental damage done by the Soviet union for example#. Capitalists will suffer just as much from a polluted environment as everyone else. Guess what, capitalists are humans to :o they also have children and also wants whats best for them.

You got a pretty narrow minded view of fellow humans who just happen to not share your ideology.
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#5  Postby Loren Michael » Apr 05, 2013 2:50 pm

Anyone have an transcripts or a quick rundown of the message? I'm not at work, don't have access to my VPN.

Is the video forgetting that, among other things, growth comes from increasing efficiency, or forgetting that growth comes from developing new products and services?

Nearly every single critique of growth I've ever read has an extremely narrow (and incorrect) understanding of what constitutes growth.
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#6  Postby Horwood Beer-Master » Apr 05, 2013 2:56 pm

Tomas Kringen wrote:...Capitalism is respect for property, nothing more...

In what dictionary?
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#7  Postby Macdoc » Apr 05, 2013 3:24 pm

You cannot have capitalism without economic growth as a goal.


Incorrect. Sustainable capitalism does not require growth.
"More" is not "better."

I am a sustainable capitalist, I don't want to grow, I pay my staff well and I offer more value for money each year. I use capital to run the business and pay part of my profits to those that support me with capital.

A baker is a sustainable capitalist - he has a consumable product, he tries to improve over time and does not require growth, he does require capital, materials and labour and creates a market for the results of the real wealth aka good bread...that he creates.
He is paid most often in money ( which is not real wealth ).
He then provides a return on the capital ( his own and others ), pays his staff and other expenses and circulates or saves his profits.

He does not need growth.

He does require protection from predation.

Frontier mentality is based on growth and that is unsustainable. Predation becomes the norm ...see the finance industry.

Capitalism is not the problem, predation is ......where ever it arises.
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#8  Postby Jakov » Apr 05, 2013 3:51 pm

Tomas Kringen wrote:
Jakov wrote:You cannot have capitalism without economic growth as a goal.


Yes you can! Capitalism is respect for property, nothing more.


Really? Under feudalism property was also respected. Is feudalism the same as capitalism then?

Tomas Kringen wrote:
Capitalists want their wealth to grow, it doesn't grow by magic but by somebody working.


Wrong.


Why?

Tomas Kringen wrote:You mean only capitalists don't want more wealth, I guess poor socialists are happy being poor then?
And what is this "somebody working", you mean capitalists don't work?


I don't know what poor socialists want, for I am not a socialist.
Capital does not work, capital owns. Labour does labouring. Individual humans who have some labour inside them will work, and that includes small business owners.

Tomas Kringen wrote:

They invest money in an enterprise with no incentive to protect the environment So widespread poverty and environmental destruction are not mistakes, they are the system working as it should.


Wrong#again# A capitalist is just as moral as you, a capitalist doesn't care any less about the environment than you. Damage to the environment is not a capitalist trait#look at all the environmental damage done by the Soviet union for example#. Capitalists will suffer just as much from a polluted environment as everyone else. Guess what, capitalists are humans to :o they also have children and also wants whats best for them.


So consider a marketplace with factories producing paint. A biproduct is a harmful pollutant. Each individual factory can either pay to have the biproduct treated or can dump it in the river so the environment pays. Now imagine just one factory dumps pollution in the river, it will be able to reduce its prices and drive the others out of business. Because of competition now all the factories will be dumping pollution in the river, even though they are mostly made up of good moral upstanding humans.
So in any economic system you'll have good people doing good things and bad people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things (like dump pollution in a river), that requires free market competition under capitalism.

And don't suggest liberal intervention and regulation. Democratic structures are very weak. The same powerful business interests will corrupt democratic government. Each individual workplace can expect an inspection once every few centuries. The iron law of the market is far stronger and more constrictive than the legal law made by government.

The Soviet Union had many of the bad features of capitalism. A concentration of power, a class of rulers capable of arbitrary actions, a large exploited underclass, environmental destruction. The answer is neither capitalism nor Stalinism.

Tomas Kringen wrote:
You got a pretty narrow minded view of fellow humans who just happen to not share your ideology.


I've seen a wide range of what my fellow humans can do. You have a rosey-coloured and naive view of what the world is like.
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#9  Postby iamthereforeithink » Apr 05, 2013 4:04 pm

Can't say she's wrong. UE will absolutely love this. Is he still suspended?
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#10  Postby Jakov » Apr 05, 2013 4:09 pm

Macdoc wrote:
You cannot have capitalism without economic growth as a goal.


Incorrect. Sustainable capitalism does not require growth.
"More" is not "better."

I am a sustainable capitalist, I don't want to grow, I pay my staff well and I offer more value for money each year. I use capital to run the business and pay part of my profits to those that support me with capital.


It's quite unusual that there is a business owner who doesn't want to grow. Nonetheless, market forces will see to it that eventually such a business will be overtaken by it's competitors. Grow or perish is built into the system.

A lot of capital will be accumulated and the people controlling it will want somewhere to invest it. If no profitable investment opportunities exist they will create profit by cutting back wages and benefits or cutting back environmental protection. Capital always wants, needs, requires profit. The purpose of that profit as far as I can tell is to create even more profit.

Macdoc wrote:
A baker is a sustainable capitalist - he has a consumable product, he tries to improve over time and does not require growth, he does require capital, materials and labour and creates a market for the results of the real wealth aka good bread...that he creates.
He is paid most often in money ( which is not real wealth ).
He then provides a return on the capital ( his own and others ), pays his staff and other expenses and circulates or saves his profits.

He does not need growth.

He does require protection from predation.

Frontier mentality is based on growth and that is unsustainable. Predation becomes the norm ...see the finance industry.

Capitalism is not the problem, predation is ......where ever it arises.


The baker does not exist in a vacuum, he or she is constrained by the market. Those market forces are how the finance industry and predation will find its way to the baker's door.
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#11  Postby Jakov » Apr 05, 2013 4:15 pm

I should mention. I don't want to stop anyone trying for sustainable zero-growth capitalism, but they should be aware they'll eventually run up against a limit.
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#12  Postby Tomas Kringen » Apr 05, 2013 5:23 pm

Horwood Beer-Master wrote:
Tomas Kringen wrote:...Capitalism is respect for property, nothing more...

In what dictionary?

cap·i·tal·ism
[kap-i-tl-iz-uhm] Show IPA
noun
an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#13  Postby Steve » Apr 05, 2013 5:46 pm

I think you guys should watch the video - she is not talking about definitions of capitalism, she is talking about the models we use to define GDP and how we allocate money with those models. They assign zero value to natural resources or life. She tells real life stories in India where Monsanto is growing in leaps and bounds and food is disappearing and farmers are going bankrupt and the models are blind to the reality.

Early on she mentions Marilyn Waring. Here is an old documentary about her: Who's Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#14  Postby Steve » Apr 05, 2013 5:55 pm

OK - watching Marilyn - she points out that the most productive oil tanker voyage in the history of oil tanker voyages was that of the Exxon Valdez. It consumed a tanker load of oil in a very short time, consumed the ship that carried it, triggered massive employment in the clean up, massive influxes of environmentalists. There was no measurement of the loss or damage.

If you crash your car you contribute to GDP.

THAT is what is fucked up. We are not looking at the cost to actual life and happiness.
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#15  Postby Tomas Kringen » Apr 05, 2013 6:01 pm

Jakov wrote:

Really? Under feudalism property was also respected. Is feudalism the same as capitalism then?


No property was not respected under feudalism.



Why?


I'm sorry for not being specific my bad. You were wrong when you implied (thats how I read it) that capitalists doesnt work and someone else do all the hard work.




I don't know what poor socialists want, for I am not a socialist.
Capital does not work, capital owns. Labor does laboring. Individual humans who have some labor inside them will work, and that includes small business owners.


So if a capitalist opens up a factory, that requires no work?



So consider a marketplace with factories producing paint. A biproduct is a harmful pollutant. Each individual factory can either pay to have the biproduct treated or can dump it in the river so the environment pays. Now imagine just one factory dumps pollution in the river, it will be able to reduce its prices and drive the others out of business. Because of competition now all the factories will be dumping pollution in the river, even though they are mostly made up of good moral upstanding humans.
So in any economic system you'll have good people doing good things and bad people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things (like dump pollution in a river), that requires free market competition under capitalism.


Environmental damage n the past (SMOG etc) was a moral zeitgeist thing. Today most multinational companies are pretty good at everything from recycling to other things. I work in the printing industry and all the major companies like OCE' and Xerox are pro-environment.

Just like eco/clean food is on the rise, so is "green" enterprise. I'd love to see a factory dump pollution in the river today (at least in Europe or where I live) and get away with it. Theres fracking in the US but thats on the US government. Now there is one thing I would like to say. If a corporation commits a crime today, it will only get fined. But that has nothing to do with capitalism, thats corrupt legal system. I'm all for heads rolling.




And don't suggest liberal intervention and regulation. Democratic structures are very weak. The same powerful business interests will corrupt democratic government. Each individual workplace can expect an inspection once every few centuries. The iron law of the market is far stronger and more constrictive than the legal law made by government.


Corrupt democratic government...I agree!! But this is a question of moral, pretty much everything in our discussion is.


The Soviet Union had many of the bad features of capitalism. A concentration of power, a class of rulers capable of arbitrary actions, a large exploited underclass, environmental destruction. The answer is neither capitalism nor Stalinism.


The answer is anarchy and capitalism.


I've seen a wide range of what my fellow humans can do. You have a rosey-coloured and naive view of what the world is like.


I didnt want to say it, but as an anarcho-capitalist I felt insulted. Capitalists are not evil people who only care about profits :cheers:
Last edited by Tomas Kringen on Apr 05, 2013 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#16  Postby Loren Michael » Apr 05, 2013 6:02 pm

India is a great example of political failure and NIMBYism run amok. It's a good case study for the importance of a state with at least some teeth. It's not clear that any particular lesson from India can be applied very well to other countries, or to a global context. That's a case that needs to be made.

Re: "Sustainable capitalism" that "does not require growth": How does this deal with increases in efficiency? I ask, because if efficiency is increased, then there will be growth unless steps are taken to prevent that growth. How does it deal with new products and services? Are the number of apps available for the iPhone to be capped? Do we ban new songs from being written?
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#17  Postby Tomas Kringen » Apr 05, 2013 6:11 pm

Loren Michael wrote:

Re: "Sustainable capitalism" that "does not require growth": How does this deal with increases in efficiency? I ask, because if efficiency is increased, then there will be growth unless steps are taken to prevent that growth. How does it deal with new products and services? Are the number of apps available for the iPhone to be capped? Do we ban new songs from being written?



The ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth's ecosystems. It is a standardized measure of demand for natural capital that may be contrasted with the planet's ecological capacity to regenerate.[1] It represents the amount of biologically productive land and sea area necessary to supply the resources a human population consumes, and to assimilate associated waste. Using this assessment, it is possible to estimate how much of the Earth (or how many planet Earths) it would take to support humanity if everybody followed a given lifestyle. For 2007, humanity's total ecological footprint was estimated at 1.5 planet Earths; that is, humanity uses ecological services 1.5 times as quickly as Earth can renew them.[2] Every year, this number is recalculated to incorporate the three-year lag due to the time it takes for the UN to collect and publish statistics and relevant research.


China has one thing in mind....growth. Unsubstainable growth.
28,000 rivers vanish from Chinese map


http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environme ... 725724.ece

And as said in the video I didnt embed correctly, China expects to quadruple their echonomy in 20 years.




Being more efficient is good, but forever expaning markets.....not so much.
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#18  Postby Loren Michael » Apr 05, 2013 6:30 pm

Being more efficient isn't good for forever expanding markets?

None of the above answered my questions. How does "sustainable capitalism" that "does not require growth" deal with increases in efficiency? New products and services?

I'm all for sustainable, managed growth. I think being against growth is nonsensical/undesirable because it's against efficiency increases and new products.
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#19  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Apr 05, 2013 6:44 pm

New markets open up all the time. Growth is the result. As long as this is true, you can have micro economic growth without the existence of macro economic growth.
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Re: Lunacy of economic growth

#20  Postby Steve » Apr 05, 2013 6:46 pm

I would not argue over your definitions of capitalism - no one cares. What matters is the United Nations who set the rules in the United Nations system of National Accounts. All nations have to conform to belong to the UN, to borrow from world banks. And that is a fucking mess. That is why poverty is ignored and Monsanto gets all the love and kisses.
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