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Author Topic: Screw the economic growth paradigm  (Read 7245 times)
kiba
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June 05, 2011, 08:44:33 PM
 #41

I'm not really sure any more about my original point, but I'm still of the opinion that we as western citizens should reduce exploiting both nature and other people in order to protect our outrageous wealth and become even more obese and unhappy.

I question the whole notion of happiness as the ultimate goal of humanity.

Meanwhile, our obesity is caused by evolutionary maladapation. We now live in a world of extremely rich nutrient, but our body still carve fats, sugar, and carbohydrate to the detriment of our health.

As the world become more prosperous, we will face widespread obesity.

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June 05, 2011, 08:48:49 PM
 #42

I'm not going to write much, but the OP misunderstands the meaning of economic growth.

Economic growth doesn't mean consuming more Earth resources and throwing things away.

It means satisfying people needs and wishes (demands) more and better, and that must take the existent amount of resources (offer) into consideration. Basically economic growth means improving people's life, in what concern the access to scarce resources.

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WilliamJohnson
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June 05, 2011, 09:02:46 PM
 #43

Economic growth doesn't mean consuming more Earth resources and throwing things away.
Well, unfortunately, GDP only measures what is produced.
Meaning that if you destroy things, that will not be taken into account. But when they get rebuilt, that counts, and increases the GDP.
So, destroying things actually increases the GDP.
marcus_of_augustus
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June 05, 2011, 11:45:18 PM
 #44

Quote
If you dont know what a word means theres a thing called dictionaries. But i know you know what i mean and that you are deliberately playing dumb in desperate hope my reasoning can be rejected.

I'm quite aware of the dictionary word. I was asking how you define it because your arguments do not follow on the dictionary basis.

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June 05, 2011, 11:47:35 PM
 #45

In the best case renewable sources "renew" at a fixed linear rate, yet we consume them in an exponential way.

This is demonstrably false. Let me demonstrably it for you:

Electricity is a renewable resource. Mankind has increased electricity exponentially.

Or another example, Dubai is a city that grew out of the sand within 15 years. Population exploded and with it the demand for clean water exploded. Your theory would state that it'd be impossible for Dubai to grow exponentially, because it would run out of water - water being produced only in a "linear" fashion.

But of course, Dubai doesn't care about your theory. The solution was simply to build more desalination plants, thus increasing clean water exponentially along with population.

Man creates the resources it needs. We make clean water. We grow trees. We find new energy when old sources run dry. If we can't do these things, prices rise and alternatives are found.

Your concerns about "deforestation" etc have to do with a lack of private property enforcement, and thus you see a tragedy of the commons. Protect private property and resource issues are null.
benjamindees
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June 06, 2011, 12:05:38 AM
 #46

Electricity is a renewable resource. Mankind has increased electricity exponentially.

Most electricity is created using coal.  Coal is not renewable on non-geologic timeframes.  It is expected to last only another few hundred years.

Quote
Or another example, Dubai is a city that grew out of the sand within 15 years. Population exploded and with it the demand for clean water exploded. Your theory would state that it'd be impossible for Dubai to grow exponentially, because it would run out of water - water being produced only in a "linear" fashion.

But of course, Dubai doesn't care about your theory. The solution was simply to build more desalination plants, thus increasing clean water exponentially along with population.

Dubai went bankrupt in the housing crash, and had to be bailed out by it's neighbor Abu Dhabi, which owns the energy resources necessary to run desalination plants.

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asdf
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June 06, 2011, 10:44:47 AM
 #47

Another piece of the puzzle, our best friend energy! Since we began producing energy with oil and coal we haven't changed that much. And that was a long time ago. Exponential consumption of a limited resource = fail. And technology does have alternatives but they are not profitable so the problem is unresolved.

They aren't profitable because we have plenty of coal. If/when coal becomes scarce, alternatives will be profitable, as long as there is demand for energy.
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June 06, 2011, 11:32:52 AM
 #48

Economic growth doesn't mean consuming more Earth resources and throwing things away.
Well, unfortunately, GDP only measures what is produced.
Meaning that if you destroy things, that will not be taken into account. But when they get rebuilt, that counts, and increases the GDP.
So, destroying things actually increases the GDP.

Oh, you're talking about GDP growth then... GDP is indeed a dangerous statistic, and politicians desires to maximize it no matter what produce stupid behaviors as you point out.
Just a correction, I believe GDP actually measures what is consumed, not what is produced. If something is produced but saved instead of consumed, I don't think it enters the GDP.


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evoorhees
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June 06, 2011, 04:46:58 PM
 #49

Electricity is a renewable resource. Mankind has increased electricity exponentially.

Most electricity is created using coal.  Coal is not renewable on non-geologic timeframes.  It is expected to last only another few hundred years.

Quote
Or another example, Dubai is a city that grew out of the sand within 15 years. Population exploded and with it the demand for clean water exploded. Your theory would state that it'd be impossible for Dubai to grow exponentially, because it would run out of water - water being produced only in a "linear" fashion.

But of course, Dubai doesn't care about your theory. The solution was simply to build more desalination plants, thus increasing clean water exponentially along with population.

Dubai went bankrupt in the housing crash, and had to be bailed out by it's neighbor Abu Dhabi, which owns the energy resources necessary to run desalination plants.

LOL so we only have another few hundred years to find alternatives to coal?  Yikes we're doomed!

The fact that Dubai's government needed a huge loan from Abu Dhabi doesn't invalidate my point. Abu Dhabi experienced similar growth and the clean water/desalination issue is the same there. The point is that resources can be and are produced to meet the needs of humanity.
AntiVigilante
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June 06, 2011, 05:09:42 PM
 #50

Because I think it's a very nice answer to the many people saying "a deflationary currency cannot work as the main global currency, because it just wont support economic growth".

Is it (a good answer)?

Economic growth is a vaporous term used as a euphemism for market agitation of chickens with their heads cut off. The only thing that needs to grow is the power of the people to make decisions that benefit their communities and states.

Money is supposed to be used when you can't find the means to engage the resources available to you. It's not supposed to replace the plumbing of society.

Proposal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=11541.msg162881#msg162881
Inception: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues/296
Goal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=12536.0
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rahl
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June 06, 2011, 08:36:43 PM
 #51

The economy can grow until we know everything about everything and all mass and energy in the universe is allocated to the being capable of reason that values it the highest and used for the highest possible value for said being.

What economics growth means is simply that we do more with less. Less resources and labour are needed to maintain the same standard of living when we have growth, this is quite beneficial to the environment and everyone in the economy. This ofcourse also frees resources and time that can be utilized elsewhere increasing the standard of living, but it is up to you if you wanna do that or not...

ender
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June 07, 2011, 01:10:27 AM
 #52

The economy can grow until we know everything about everything and all mass and energy in the universe is allocated to the being capable of reason that values it the highest and used for the highest possible value for said being.

What economics growth means is simply that we do more with less. Less resources and labour are needed to maintain the same standard of living when we have growth, this is quite beneficial to the environment and everyone in the economy. This ofcourse also frees resources and time that can be utilized elsewhere increasing the standard of living, but it is up to you if you wanna do that or not...

I quite don't fit the phrase "we do more with less".
The part of reducing the labour force needed I can see, machines are more profitable than humans by a wide margin. We have been able to mechanize agriculture and industry so people in the first world now quasi-entirely work on the service sector (not sure if thats the correct english term).
That thought leads me to a paradox though, when we have robots taking over the one working sector that is left. So, in a future all-automated world the only work to do would be to design robots (if they don't just design themselves). So no people working = no salaries = no consumption. Am I missing something or from this perspective the paradigm is also doomed in the long run?

The part about reducing the resource consumption. How do you make a chair with less wood? You just can "spawn" matter. How do you produce more energy with fewer fuel, whatever the fuel used is?

"A UN environment panel said the world cannot sustain the tearaway rate of use of minerals, ores and fossil and plant fuels. It called on governments to "decouple" economic growth from natural resource consumption.
With the world population expected to hit 9.3 billion by 2050 and developing nations becoming more prosperous, the report warned "the prospect of much higher resource consumption levels is far beyond what is likely sustainable.""

"Total world resource use has risen from about six billion tons in 1900 to 49 billion tons in 2000 and has already gone up to an estimated 59 billion tons now."
source: http://wires.univision.com/english/article/2011-05-12/global-resource-consumption-to-triple

So the UN thinks economic growth and natural resource consumption are indeed coupled. Not only that, resource consumption has effectively rocketed since 1900.

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marcus_of_augustus
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June 07, 2011, 02:03:41 AM
 #53


The UN is yet another example of a failed organ of centralised control and propaganda.

If it serves your purpose to seek doom in the future you will find it since the future is unpredictable, particularly further out than 5 days.

benjamindees
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June 07, 2011, 03:19:08 AM
 #54

That thought leads me to a paradox though, when we have robots taking over the one working sector that is left. So, in a future all-automated world the only work to do would be to design robots (if they don't just design themselves). So no people working = no salaries = no consumption. Am I missing something or from this perspective the paradigm is also doomed in the long run?

You're missing the fact that individuals can own and control capital such as robots.  Of course their governments and vested interests will prevent them, so the paradigm is doomed in the long run.

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rahl
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June 07, 2011, 07:23:10 AM
 #55

So no people working = no salaries = no consumption. Am I missing something or from this perspective the paradigm is also doomed in the long run?

So this is exactly what people was saying when farming was mechanized, then there was industry, then that was mechanized, then there was the service sector.

If we get that level of mechanization you won't have to work more then like an hour a month to maintain your current standard of living anyway cause it will be that cheap. Also there will always be new ways to provide benefit to other people and earn some income.
Also no consumption is not a bad thing, it would create tremendous wealth extremely fast if all production in society was dedicated to capital goods and technological development.


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The part about reducing the resource consumption. How do you make a chair with less wood? You just can "spawn" matter. How do you produce more energy with fewer fuel, whatever the fuel used is?

Compare the amount of resources that go into a car today and 20 years ago. It is way way less and the car is still much better. You can make the chair from something else and use less resource value if wood should get expensive. Fuels can also be replaced but there is plenty of room to get more energy from the same fuel in most kinds of energy production. Internal combustion engines have a 70% waste ratio or what is...

Quote
So the UN thinks economic growth and natural resource consumption are indeed coupled. Not only that, resource consumption has effectively rocketed since 1900.

And they are a bunch of inbred sociapathic retards that don't understand economics.

As a resource gets scarcer the price go up and a technological solution to either use less of it, recycle it or find an alternative resources will be found. Forcing such development to happen faster then the market would drive it is however a tremendous waste of capital.

marcus_of_augustus
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June 07, 2011, 08:02:03 AM
 #56


It is pointless arguing with the guy on this one ... I tried.

He doesn't understand RESOURCE SUBSTITUTION THEORY (google it) or even understand how to define what a resource is.

There appears to be a whole sector of society brainwashed with this greenie-socialist doom and gloom propaganda .... sad but true.

benjamindees
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June 07, 2011, 08:15:58 AM
 #57

Understanding something is not the same as agreeing with it.

If you believe that hot dogs are a good substitute for free-range chicken, then by all means, eat hot dogs.  Just don't expect the rest of us to follow suit.  And don't expect us to pay for your health care.  Expect us to laugh at you as you die of organ failure or heart attack.

Especially don't expect us to allow you to force your beliefs onto others through overpopulation, arbitrage, and inter-generational debt-slavery.

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marcus_of_augustus
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June 07, 2011, 08:54:07 AM
 #58

Understanding something is not the same as agreeing with it.

If you believe that hot dogs are a good substitute for free-range chicken, then by all means, eat hot dogs.  Just don't expect the rest of us to follow suit.  And don't expect us to pay for your health care.  Expect us to laugh at you as you die of organ failure or heart attack.

Especially don't expect us to allow you to force your beliefs onto others through overpopulation, arbitrage, and inter-generational debt-slavery.

Actually, I substituted free range chicken for free range duck when it became affordable. Duck fat is high in Omega-good-for-ya-whatchits and tastes better too ... mmmm, mmm. The problems you allude to are either non-existent myths spread to fog the debate around monetary mismanagement or try to scare you to give up your freedoms. Do the math if you dare.

Resource substitution, its lets you live like only the kings from yesteryear could have imagined! Get some now!

Edit: Also I enjoy baked salmon from the father of all resources, a farm. If you have ever farmed you will know what I'm talking about.

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June 07, 2011, 09:11:34 AM
 #59

Understanding something is not the same as agreeing with it.

If you believe that hot dogs are a good substitute for free-range chicken, then by all means, eat hot dogs.  Just don't expect the rest of us to follow suit.  And don't expect us to pay for your health care.  Expect us to laugh at you as you die of organ failure or heart attack.

Especially don't expect us to allow you to force your beliefs onto others through overpopulation, arbitrage, and inter-generational debt-slavery.

Actually, I substituted free range chicken for free range duck when it became affordable. Duck fat is high in Omega-food-for-ya-whatchits and tastes better too ... mmmm, mmm. The problems you allude to are either non-existent myths spread to the fog around monetary mismanagement or try to scare you to give up your freedoms. Do the math if you dare.

Resource substitution, its lets you live like only the kings from yesteryear could have imagined! Get some now!

I hate you. Now I'm craving duck.

Proposal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=11541.msg162881#msg162881
Inception: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues/296
Goal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=12536.0
Means: Code, donations, and brutal criticism. I've got a thick skin. 1Gc3xCHAzwvTDnyMW3evBBr5qNRDN3DRpq
benjamindees
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June 07, 2011, 09:29:19 AM
 #60

Actually, I substituted free range chicken for free range duck when it became affordable.

Resource substitution, its lets you live like only the kings from yesteryear could have imagined! Get some now!

Edit: Also I enjoy baked salmon from the father of all resources, a farm. If you have ever farmed you will know what I'm talking about.

Yeah, well where I'm from, the "kings of yesteryear" basically just followed around a bunch of cows, and cut out a prime rib whenever they got hungry.  Farming is savagery compared to that.  Wake me up when "resource substitution" has caught up.

Civil Liberty Through Complex Mathematics
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