Posted on October 18, 2010 by jeremy
I’ve wondered for some time now, why a mainstream political party doesn’t use an alternative measure to GDP as a major plank of its political platform (e.g. Genuine Progress Indicator
, or Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare
). The use of GDP growth as a barometer of societal well-being is entirely inappropriate, a view supported by none other than the principal architect of the concept, Simon Kuznets
. Bhutan has its Gross National Happiness
but for everyone else, the growth of GDP remains the key macroeconomic indicator. The arguments presented in Tim Jackson’s new book Prosperity Without Growth
warrant serious consideration. This TED talk draws on the key themes of his book.
Filed under: Development, Ecological degradation, International political economy, Materialism, Sustainable development | Tagged: economics, Genuine Progress Indicator, GPI, Gross National Happiness, Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare, ISEW, Prosperity Without Growth, recession, sustainable living, Tim Jackson | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 11, 2008 by jeremy
Image source: greenerist.com
There is a brilliant piece by Thomas Friedman in the IHT today on the US auto bail-out and what Joseph Schumpeter once referred to as the process of creative destruction. He writes about the Better Place electric car charging system and how this is set to replace the petroleum-based model. The best paragraph is reproduced below:
America’s bailout of Detroit will be remembered as the equivalent of pouring billions of dollars of taxpayer money into the mail-order-catalogue business on the eve of the birth of eBay. It will be remembered as pouring billions of dollars into the CD music business on the eve of the birth of the iPod and iTunes. It will be remembered as pouring billions of dollars into a book-store chain on the eve of the birth of Amazon.com and the Kindle. It will be remembered as pouring billions of dollars into improving typewriters on the eve of the birth of the PC and the Internet.
The bail-out has to proceed for the sake of the people who would otherwise lose there jobs, and the knock-on effect this would have on the rest of the economy. However, it would be a lot smarter if financial assistance were tied to the development of Car 2.0. This way, people would not only keep their jobs now, but they would be safe in the future as well.
Filed under: Energy | Tagged: cars, Friedman, recession | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 2, 2008 by jeremy
Image source: recessionhistory.info
The biggest problem with governments is that they are run by politicians whose first concern is the electoral cycle. The second biggest problem is that these politicians tend to have advisors with economics degrees from top universities where the economic history courses have limited appeal alongside the finance-oriented courses that are viewed as ‘hard science’. It is for this reason that history repeats itself as governments do not learn from previous mistakes. The fact that Paul Krugman feels compelled to write an article in the IHT today defending the case for a large fiscal deficit is testimony to this, as is the almost apologetic way the Rudd government in Australia has mentioned the ‘d’ word in recent days.
Filed under: Australian politics | Tagged: economics, Krugman, recession | Leave a Comment »