It Comes Undone-Think About It
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Rescooped by Eli Levine from The Great Transition
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Ex-Treasury adviser: no real recovery - growth 'hype' masks crash risk

Ex-Treasury adviser: no real recovery - growth 'hype' masks crash risk | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Nafeez Ahmed: GDP stats reveal same brand of unsustainable debt-led growth behind worst financial crisis since Great Depression

Via Willy De Backer
Eli Levine's insight:

When people don't have money to spend, debt naturally increases.  When debt increases without having compensation to cover for the debt, you're set up for a situation where people will be called for their money, not have money available to pay up, and thus, all planned profits and growth forecasts go down the tubes.  A tall, ever-growing building cannot be supported without a deep foundation beneath it.  Even then, the environment and technological limitations will prevent the building from growing larger than both the environment and the technology can support it.

 

Think about it.

 

Because this isn't some trumped up "government debt" argument that's being used here while the deficeit is decreasing.  This is debt at the root microlevels of the economy: individual households and the like.

 

If the UK falls, everywhere else is going to fall as well.  We're so interconnected that a failure in one node will lead to critical losses everywhere else.  All for the sake of the rich people's delusion that money is worth something beyond a means of exchange.  All for the sake of conservatives' ideological belief that government presence anywhere is an inherently bad thing.

 

And they won't learn a thing from these mistakes.

 

Think about it.

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Willy De Backer's curator insight, May 1, 2014 3:08 AM

The reality behind the so-called economic 'recovery' - the 'economists' are still not getting it, Your Highness.

"The misnamed 'recovery' is merely "a return to the debt-led and consumption-driven growth of the pre-crisis era…"

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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."

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What We Know: American scientists' warning on climate chaos

What We Know: American scientists' warning on climate chaos | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
What We Know helps us understand the science behind the realities, risks and response to the climate challenge.

Via Willy De Backer
Eli Levine's insight:

The whole thing is about to break down, unless there is a significant coup against the existing private interests and their hold on policy makers' decisions.

 

One has to wonder how mentally healthy these people are who think that wealth is more valuable than health, regardless of the reasoning or justification for that wealth.

 

Think about it.

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Willy De Backer's curator insight, March 18, 2014 1:58 PM

The scientific community is getting more vocal and outspoken(about time), but the more policy makers will understand what they will need to do (questioning the Western way of life), the more they will hide themselves in ideology and denial.

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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.

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What if economic growth is no longer possible in the 21st century?

What if economic growth is no longer possible in the 21st century? | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
The postwar economic model is no longer sustainable or effective. That means we must turn to redistribution if we want to save the middle class.

Via Willy De Backer
Eli Levine's insight:

The elephant in the room.

 

What is the point of economic growth if it does not enrich all of our lives?  What good is it if we impoverish ourselves and our environment in order to get it?

 

We're not all going to be millionaires, nor does one/their family need to be millionaires in order to be happy, well off and able to take care of themselves.  What is the point of prioritizing pieces of cloth rag over our physical, psychological, social and environmental health?  Why not let growth happen organically, based upon the natural ebbings and flowing of goods and services, technological development and resource conservation?

 

What good is money if you poison yourself for it?

 

Think about it.

 

 

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Willy De Backer's curator insight, March 20, 2014 5:40 PM

Great article - the answer is simple; the politics impossible. A post-growth society will need a new prosperity paradigm, new institutions and new leaders. Think this will happen without collapse and hard shocks? think again.

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Kenneth Rogoff identifies several obstacles to keeping living standards on an upward trajectory

Kenneth Rogoff identifies several obstacles to keeping living standards on an upward trajectory | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
The promise that each generation will be better off than the last is a fundamental tenet of modern society. But will future generations, particularly in advanced economies, realize such expectations?

Via Willy De Backer
Eli Levine's insight:

Again, it's a question of producing value as opposed to wealth; health and quality of life over financial gain for a few "owners" of production.

 

What good is a financially bigger cut, if it comes at environmental and social costs that may prove to be deadly to the individuals and organizations who choose to ignore the ecological and social consequences of their action?  What good is a profit if you, and everyone else, is dead?  Who would acknowledge your wealth?  How would you buy things?

 

Think about it.

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Willy De Backer's curator insight, March 4, 2014 2:13 PM

Slowly some traditional economists are starting to wake up to the question of the future and nature of growth (see also Pisany-Ferry on this Project Syndicate). Problem is that they are illiterate as regards the impact of energy on the economy. They still fail to grasp the truth of planetary limits to growth.

Gaubert Stephane's curator insight, March 7, 2014 3:19 AM

not sure we'll live better than our parents, though we'll surely live longer ...