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You can expand services which don't consume material resources.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 18th, 2013 at 04:20:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes, to a considerable extent. However:

-There may not be quite as many such services not consuming any material resources as we'd like
-Especially not as many services for which there really would be a demand
-We don't just need to stagnate but to go back on resource use -and to go back a lot. So expansion of services, which I would very much welcome (more teachers, for instance, and not just at school but even for adults), will not be enough.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Nov 18th, 2013 at 04:27:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is expansion in creating the conditions for reduced (finite) resource use, ie creating infrastructure for the energy transition, building new and refitting old constructions to be as energy-neutral as possible, transforming agriculture  from its current trend of rapid destruction of soil fertility and water to practices that actively foster those resources (yes, there is a gain to be had there).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 18th, 2013 at 05:18:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely, and that is what I meant when I said that short term, a policy of restricting resource use (and even total production) would increase investment.

My point about a need for solutions to avoid deflation was for the period after that, which is not anytime soon. I wanted to deflect any argument that stagnation was totally incompatible with full employment and avoiding deflation.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Nov 18th, 2013 at 05:26:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I visited in 1999, 2002, and 2003. Tokyo to Fukushima to Kyoto to Takefu. All that I saw was forests, small-scale agriculture, clear streams, egrets, high-speed trains, and a working populace in the countryside. Kyoto was clean and seemed prosperous. Tokyo was busy, much cleaner than most big cities - gleaming actually. Good food - seemed very wholesome. Helpful people with possible exception of one railroad clerk; 1 slightly obese person out of thousands observed; 1 beggar in Tokyo.

The business people that I knew there worked for one of the largest chemical firms in the world. I heard that the boss of our division made about 4 times the salaries of the office people. Nobody seemed to begrudge it, even after an evening of sake.

If that's stagnation in action, it looked good to me.

Slight change of subject in line with afew's and others' comments: I read a Reuters' article yesterday about the 'failure' of the current solar-energy initiative in Japan. It was one of the most egregiously stupid articles that I have ever read. Because they have only installed 3+ GW of solar in one year out of 20+ GW projected over the life of the policy, the initiative is a shambles. One other thing that I love about the Japanese - they don't spike the ball in the endzone (maybe occasionally run around the pitch a bit after scoring). They just listen, drink their sake with friends, and move on to the next problem.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (paulgspencer@gmail.com) on Tue Nov 19th, 2013 at 01:48:41 PM EST
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