Boris Mann’s Personal Blog

Aug 2010

Toward a steady-state economy /via @sebpaquet

I think it is. My view on the matter is that the era of economic growth is over, kaput, finished. If you stop for a minute to think about it, you must admit that we live on a finite planet, that we are rapidly using up the available resources, that we are adding ever more pollution to our air, water and land, and that the distance (in time) between the end of the production line and regional dump is growing ever shorter. This cannot continue. Nature shows us that nothing grows forever. What would it be like if children never stopped growing? What happens as insect or animal populations grow? They either level off or experience a catastrophic collapse.

So, if we cannot expect the economy to return to what has been “normal” in our past, what can we expect? I believe that we must, and in fact are right now transitioning toward a steady-state economy, one in which overall quantitative growth is supplanted by qualitative development, i.e., an improvement in the conditions of life that really matter,

There are many good quotes, like "the Butterfly economy" or "Use value is becoming more important than market value".

I learned from reading, which is mainly about real estate but also about investing in general, that buying shares in banks that pay dividends earns you more (like 5% more) than sticking that same money into that bank's savings accounts.

Investing in "real" dividends -- CSAs (community supported agriculture) and other co-op models -- is one way to get value directly.

One area that I would like to see some focus on, learned from many discussions with Anthony of Farmstead Wines and Foodtree, is that while production is always local, I believe it is important for us to reward / seek out "good" forms of production wherever they are. Carbon footprint aside, we need to link these global local producers.