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Rescooped by Eli Levine from The Great Transition
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Energy and the Financial System: What Everyone Needs to Know… and Work Darn Hard to Avoid

Energy and the Financial System: What Everyone Needs to Know… and Work Darn Hard to Avoid | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

"Our economic and financial system is based on assumptions of continued growth. Currently growth is highly dependent on energy and a surplus thereof as provided by high EROI energy sources. Our available energy sources, however, are providing less and less energy returns on the amount of energy we put into them. Therefore the amount of surplus energy available is declining. Thus, given the dependence of growth on energy, growth will decline too. The little remaining health of our financial systems, however, relies heavily on assumptions of continued growth and rather high ones at that, but those assumptions will increasingly turn out to be false if Boyd’s prediction of declining EROI is true".


Via Willy De Backer
Eli Levine's insight:

Indeed, our ability to "grow" economically and socially is bound by the environment, our population size, cosmological conditions, food production and our state of technology.  Should we honestly "grow" for the sake of "growing", if it comes at long term as well as short term harm?

 

Things that Capitalism under its current logic, does not answer and does not wish to answer.

 

Think about it.

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Willy De Backer's curator insight, April 12, 2014 10:13 AM

Great article on the link between society's diminishing energy return on energy investment and the current economic and financial crisis. A must-read for all austerians and post-Keynesians. This time it IS really different.

Rescooped by Eli Levine from The Great Transition
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There's a Class War Going On and the Poor Are Getting Their Butts Kicked | TIME

There's a Class War Going On and the Poor Are Getting Their Butts Kicked | TIME | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Although they say they're concerned about inequality, economic policymakers continue to pummel low-income families and the jobless, and that’s bad for all of us

Via Willy De Backer
Eli Levine's insight:

When you allow Capitalism to go laissez-faire, it leads to the rich getting richer while everyone else loses in the long term.  Wealth accumulates wealth, just as larger cities are able to attract more people and more stuff than small towns.

 

I do not believe we should tamper with the market itself.  I think we should be more proactive in making sure that people are compensated for the value of their labor, protected from the avarice and greed of a handful of people and that the environment is maintained in such a way that we're able to inhabit it and derive our wealth (in terms of goods and services) sustainably from it.

 

What good is profit if it's not just sitting around?  What good is wealth if it kills you to get it?

The economic policy makers are included in this picture too.  It's not like they're leaving this planet.  Even if they are, wouldn't we technically be better off without them?

 

We started from having zero monetary wealth, after all.

 

Think about it.

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Willy De Backer's curator insight, April 3, 2014 3:34 PM

Time goes Marx...

Rescooped by Eli Levine from The Great Transition
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Has the Working Class Really Accepted Austerity?

The result of this excessive caring is “that the basic logic of austerity has been accepted by almost everyone.” So while others may consider solidarity to be a virtue, Graeber believes that it is “the rope from which [the working] class is currently suspended.”


Via Willy De Backer
Eli Levine's insight:

I'm honestly not sure about what the case is with people.  Polling and inquiries into what they're feeling and thinking would be needed in order to understand what the situation actually is.

 

However, what I do know is that when people have less at an increasingly rapid rate, they'll tend to notice and not be happy about it.  It'll be when people are literally starving en masse that we'll start to see something happen (which is in the realm of possibilities as climate change effects our food production in a negative fashion).

 

The elite's position is getting more and more untenable as time goes on; more and more delicate as they take more and more without the needed reciprocation.  Silly people whose mothers never taught them that there are limits and consequences for the actions that you do.

 

Think about it.

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Willy De Backer's curator insight, April 12, 2014 2:33 AM

Very interesting debate between David Graeber and Suren Moodliar on the psychological disposition of workers to accept austerity policies.

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How the right sold austerity as the only economic solution

How the right sold austerity as the only economic solution | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Richard Seymour: More than 30 years of neoliberalism and six years of austerity have floored us, yet the left is incapable of mounting a serious challenge to this economic orthodoxy. Why?

Via Willy De Backer
Eli Levine's insight:

There is, perhaps, no other field more political than economics.  Economics is politics, politics is economics.  They go hand in hand, one effecting the other, such that those with wealth have political power and those who don't are stripped of it.

 

It's  a shame that we don't move away from this hoarding behavior on the part of the rich and those who already have wealth and power. to do what actually works for everyone (including the rich, on the grand scale of things).  The environment is going to collapse under our current economic activity and, with it, will go the society, the polity and the economic wealth that went with it.  This will happen, regardless of if the society is able to overcome its malaise, to assert its democratic majority over the rich in the government.

 

Sadly, the official Left is led by a seemingly incompetent group of "yes people" who may secretly support the self-destructive endeavors of the Right.  They will neither let people who are competent at communicating to others rise in their ranks, nor will they necessarily adopt the policies that are NEEDED to preserve our world on the tangible level, not on the imagined level that the conservatives like to keep us at.

 

And so, we're left to die, individually and collectively, because no one with official power would rise to the challenge to get all of these conservatives from either party, public or private, into mental health clinics.  The opinions of conservatives from any party remain, as far as society is concerned, on an equal basis with the actual facts of the world (when they are so clearly not).  This is how civilizations end, because those who learn how to play the socially constructed game win out over those who know what the actual game is always about.  It's not the image of society that matters, but the actual conditions within it and within the environment that do.

 

That's what I've been saying these past 4 years.

 

And I doubt anyone has, or will, listen to what I have to say before it's too late to do anything about it.

 

Think about it.

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Willy De Backer's curator insight, March 28, 2014 12:04 PM

"The political possibilities have been narrowed through serial defeats of the left, the consequent incorporation of social democratic parties into the neoliberal consensus, and the transformation of state apparatus in a less democratic direction. No governing social democratic party offers a serious alternative to the austerity remedy. The diminution of practical solidarity following on from the state-led defeats inflicted on organised labour is far-reaching. Nine out of 10 private sector workplaces have never seen a union rep, let alone a picket line; the number of days lost to strike action in recent years have been, barring a relatively small spike in 2011, at historic lows. The idea of "rank and file" organisation, let alone wildcat strike action, is something seen only on the peripheries of the labour movement. Trade unions have been effectively disciplined. This is an important reason why the labour response to austerity has been so feeble."