The Triangular Economy: Behind the Circular Flows

By Brian Czech

The “circular economy” is a response to the environmental problems and resource shortages that arise as the human economy expands. The focus of the circular economy literature is on efficiency which, in terms of economic production, means more output per unit of input. All else equal, increasing efficiency means higher profits, too. That’s real motivation for the corporation.

Efficiency connects to the human propensity to innovate, too. From childhood on,

Distinguishing Capitalism from Growth

by James Magnus-Johnston

Capitalism and growth might have similar connotations, but they have important distinctions, too. “Capitalism” has become a clumsy catch-all for any number of value-laden projections—greed, big business, innovation, accumulation, complexity, workaholism. “Growth,” meanwhile, is a landmine of technical and cultural connotations, and I’ll explore just a couple of them here.

Technically speaking, their differences seem straightforward. Growth is a material increase in economic production and consumption. Capitalism is a highly complex term,

Where Does Inflation Hide?

By Herman Daly

The talking heads in the media explain the recent fall in the stock market as follows: A fall in unemployment leads to a tight labor market and the prospect of wage increases; wage increase leads to threat of inflation; which leads the Fed to likely raise interest rates; which would lead to less borrowing, and to less investment in stocks, and consequently to an expected fall in stock prices.

What is Wrong with a Zero Interest Rate?

by Herman Daly

The stock market took a dip, so the Fed will likely continue to keep the interest rate at zero, in conformity with its goal of supporting asset prices by quantitative easing. What is wrong with a zero interest rate? Doesn’t it boost investment, growth, and employment?

There are many things wrong with a zero interest rate. Remember that the interest rate is a price paid to savers by borrowing investors.

Peace, Love, and the Gift

If we are to degrow the economy towards a steady state, we’re going to need to be a whole lot more generous, a whole lot happier, and more grateful for what we have already.

Use and Abuse of the “Natural Capital” Concept

Herman Daly explains how we can use prices now as tools for rationing a fixed predetermined flow of resources, rather than determining the volume of resources taken from nature, or the physical scale of the economic subsystem.

Do U.S. Election Financing Laws Force Politicians to Ignore Limits to Growth?

Brent Blackwelder explains the connection between campaign financing laws and a steady state economy.

Piketty Acknowledges a Limit to Inequality–Will He Acknowledge the Limits to Growth?

We are going to need more than a wealth tax to fix our economy.

How I’ve Responded to the Financial Crisis

Maybe pirates had a good idea about burying their loot — see how to disentangle yourself from the too-big-to-fail financial system.

Nationalize Money, Not Banks

Banks should not be allowed to live the alchemist’s dream by creating money out of nothing and lending it at interest.