Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It's been about resource control not sustainability or efficiency

An important point raised by Vandana Shiva is that the choice of technologies employed in modern industrial societies has not been chosen on the basis of 'efficiency' or 'sustainability'.  And neither, suggests the Reverend Thomas Malthus in 1830, have jobs been created to provide 'a living' for workers. 

"The increasing demand for agricultural labour must always tend to better the condition of the poor; and if the accession of work be of this kind, so far is it from being true that the poor would be obliged to work ten hours for the same price that they before worked eight, that the very reverse would be the fact;  and a labourer might then support his wife and family as well by the labour of six hours as he could before by the labour of eight....A great accession of work from manufacturers, though it may raise the price of labour even more than an increasing demand for agricultural labour, yet, as in this case the quantity of food in the country may not be proportionately increasing, the advantage to the poor will be but temporary, as the price of provisions must necessarily rise in proportion to the price of labour." ['And Essay on the Principle of Population']
 Malthus is clearly saying that 'inflation' is not a purely monetary phenomenon.  RIP Milton Friedman?

No comments: