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Clearing the Field: It's Between "Green" Growth and Degrowth  New Economic Perspectives part 3 of 3.  (H/T naked capitalism)
We have over the past several years been living in a period of malign, toxic confusion about economic growth and how it is achieved.  This has been spurred on by the deficit hysteria/austerity campaign that has served only a small fraction of the elite in our financialized economy yet has dominated discourse in Washington and many other capitals.  The deficit hysteria campaign has capitalized on the deep flaws in academic economics and economics education to distort the understandings of politicians and lay people about how our capitalist economy works, in particular the functions of government spending and overall demand in regulating the rate of economic activity and growth.  Claiming to support growth, the austerity campaign has undermined it, yet continues to convince lawmakers otherwise, continuing to lead them or have them lead us, into an emissions-intensive economic abyss.

The political and economic predators who have pushed deficit hysteria have politically capitalized on sincere concerns that some individuals and political leaders have had about lax financial standards in the private credit industry, debt-fueled consumption and overconsumption more generally.  They have misattributed the private debt-fueled consumption boom of the last decade to government, exonerating the role of private lenders eager to profit via offers of credit from people's wish to consume essential or luxury goods and services.  They have politically capitalized on the confusion of laypeople and many economists between financial and real resources especially as regards government finance, treating conservation of a limited pool of financial resources as equivalent in virtue to conserving the finite resources of the earth.

A critical casualty of the deficit hysteria campaign is the instrument of government itself, a necessary institution for the process of transforming our energy and transport systems to face the challenge of climate change.  In pursuing their perverse campaign for political power, the policy space for government has been hemmed in by false accusations and notions about money and the role of government.


In part 2 he discusses a path that he calls Petal to the Metal green growth that would not tank the economy. It would simply consist of a highly focused effort to build green power and transportation infrastructure that would perhaps contribute to increased carbon emissions now but reduced emissions later.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Dec 26th, 2013 at 03:45:32 PM EST
...on European Tribune.

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 Thu Dec 26th, 2013 at 04:11:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fortunately, from my read of Michael Hoexter's three part article in New Economics, (link in comment above), he does not get involved with trying to integrate thermodynamics into macro-economics.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Dec 26th, 2013 at 06:20:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Although it's intellectually pleasing to do so, it's more complicated than necessary, considering that the house is on fire.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 04:45:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A good first order approximation might be to include an environmental cost term in all cost/benefit analyses that captures the climate change impact of both construction and lifetime operation. Then the per ton charge for methane release would be twenty times that for CO2, etc.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 10:27:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We've been discussing real cost economics since the 70's, but no one wants to get down to even using the best estimates, much less actual cost.

WE would never have to mention externalities again.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Dec 30th, 2013 at 03:40:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pedal to the Metal.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Dec 28th, 2013 at 11:14:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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