In my response I am particularly interested in how Pollin's argument unwittingly recapitulates Robert Solow's from 46 years earlier, right down to the percentage of gross income to be invested in clean energy (Pollin) or pollution abatement (Solow). The ubiquitous "decoupling" turns out to be a euphemism for resource input productivity and not a particularly helpful one. Proponents often referring to the decoupling of GDP growth from "CO2 emissions" when what they mean -- unless they intend to deceive -- is the decoupling of the derivative rates of change.
A point I have mentioned previously is that Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen was not advocating "degrowth" as an ecological panacea. What he was saying (and what he wrote) was that evolution and history involve "permanent struggle in continuously novel forms" and is not a "predictable, controllable process." There is no "blueprint," no "built-in mechanism," no 20 or 30 year investment plan, (and no pure interpretation of the U.S. constitution or the Bible) that will relieve us of that permanent struggle.
|Reverse 'Decoupling' in the 21st Century|
Pollin plays the "degrowthers don't have a programme and I do!" card with a vengeance. Of course the more detail and moving parts such a programme has, the better because the closer it resembles a machine or even a factory containing many machines. With that kind of challenge, it is very tempting to come up with a detailed programme to illustrate how various scenarios might work out in practice. But such competition will inevitably be judged on mechanistic grounds.
Go de-growth Africa or imperialism takes a dirrent tack but is still imperialism.
Kalecki is said to have once exclaimed,"Now I understand what economics is all about! It's about confusing stocks with flows!"
Kalecki was right... again!
Is "degrowth" now political suicide? Certainly there is no direct advocacy of the idea, but there is a discernible shift away from growth as a central goal towards socially-positional goods. Brexit is perhaps the best example - a substantial chunk of the UK population wants an (illusory) greater sovereignty even if it comes at substantial economic cost. Some parts of Trump's support run on the same lines.
I don't expect this to be an even or uninterrupted, or overt process, but maybe the feeling is there.
People who want degrowth are like people who want the Mississippi River to run to the Pacific Ocean.
Per-capita gross world product annual growth rates will *accelerate*--and probably dramatically--in the 21st century; they will not decelerate.
You read it here first. Or perhaps you first read it in "Long Bet #194"in 2005, when I went on the record predicting that I know more about likely world economic growth in the 21st century than Robert Lucas Jr. (not withstanding his Nobel in Economics ;-)):
You do realize that you can increase any number by AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE just by adding a zero at the end?
"You do realize that you can increase any number by AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE just by adding a zero at the end?"
I have no idea what this means with respect to my comments that the annual rate of growth of per-capita gross world product will increase dramatically as the 21st century progresses.
There is a fine conversation between Branko Milanovic and Kate Raworth on growth and de-growth. I will set down a reference when I have time.
June 6, 2018
Kate Raworth’s economics of miracles
Mark Bahner, I have no idea what you are writing about but what the heck.
July 1, 2018
On growth and people: my reply to Kate Raworth's reply
Let me focus on two most important issues on which Kate Raworth and I differ.
Mark Bahner said...
"Per-capita gross world product annual growth rates will *accelerate*--and probably dramatically--in the 21st century; they will not decelerate."
Because the guy says so. Duh.
In 1970's my football club (though in usa football is spelled soccer due to low national IQ) published a book called 'limits to growth' (we were the soccer club of rome). In this book we pointed out that despite rising agricultural outputs , the soccer team was not eating at the same rate, and even if we ate more and did get up to say 500 pounds/person, we weren't running any faster or making more goals. In fact there was a sort of Kuznets curve---the more we ate, the slower we ran the more games we lost. Its a self-correcting feedback mechanism.
We were the 1st to show biophysical limits to growth. Intangible growth---such as in the intellectual fields such as 'idiocracy'---has fewer biophysical constraints. Its possible to be an idiot on a low budget or on a high budget.
Georges Roegescu (famous for discovering the 4th law of thermodynamics --i think this is about how after you die you dont come back again, and perhaps a mangled derivation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics in his book 'the entropy law'--it might be nice to see a recognized expert in statistical mechanics do a little peer review of that derivation) did have one major point---the economy as axiomatized by general equilibrium theory, is always at equilibrium.
(He--GR -- General Relativity is his nickname due to non-cardinal utility (all you need is popes or popeyes fried chicken) --- was also i think proven wrong that there is 'no perfect and pure interpretation of the bible and constitution' ---whoever that dude is perhaps about to be appointed to Supreme Court ---Krayworthy or maybe kate raeworth --did that in the 1000s of unreleased papers.)
I'm being asked below to 'prove you're not a robot'. Thats impossible.
Thank you, media. Finally a cogent comment from a co-gent. I am not a robot. I am not a robot. I am not a boat. not a boat. not a boat. not abot.
You can be a cyborg. If not a boat, a boat people---visit the world---paddle the streets of north carolina, go from libya to italy.... What is abot about? do they have meaning of life, perhaps superintelligence?
Pollin's numbers look ok---tho i am not going through that mess (i can only count to 5 before i get tired, also due to finite brain capacity--george miller said some genius types can count up to 7. )
i do think under a degrowth investmant MMT plan you can get a guaranteed job as a sandwichman,
' let them eat cake or a sandwich'. or get a lump for labor.
the degrowth industry seems to be growing. its an emerging market and it has a codependent and growing backlash industry . 'yes we can, no we can't'. sort of like UBI vs JG. war of the wor(l)ds.
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