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, […]
By Herman Daly
The economic process is not a mechanical analog that can be run forward and backward, nor a circular process that can return to any previous state. Rather it is an irreversible and irrevocable process moving in the direction of time’s arrow of increasing entropy . Finitude and entropy guarantee that the economic life of our species will be a journey of no return. Therefore even a stationary economy, in the classical sense of constant population and constant capital stock, is ultimately a journey of no return, because the metabolic throughput of matter and energy required to maintain constant stocks of people and physical capital, in the face of depreciation and death, is an entropic flow from ever less concentrated sources to ever filling sinks – and both sources and sinks are finite.
Banks should not be allowed to live the alchemist’s dream by creating money out of nothing and lending it at interest.
Herman Daly’s synthesis will leave you questioning the most ingrained economic assumptions of our times.
Herman Daly makes the case against using obsolete growth policies to dig out of the recession, and he issues a challenge to technological optimists.
Of course, it’s better to be rich than poor, but the conventional approaches for making us rich — GDP growth and free trade — no longer apply.
Good and bads, wealth and illth — economic growth produces them all. But how big are the bads and how damaging is the illth?
Eric Zencey suggests reforming the monetary system to avoid future economic and ecological calamities.