Economics
 
 
 
 
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Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.    
 
Kenneth E. Boulding 
 
Margrit Kennedy Complementary Currencies Website - Margrit Kennedy is a Geman architect who was led to the study and practice of currency reform based on her experience with attempting to obtain financing for ecological  architectural projects. Perhaps 'currency' reform is the wrong expression for what she is advocating. What she is promoting is the creation of interest free, inflation free local currencies which are democratically controlled. Such currencies can be created in parallel with currently existing existing currencies such as the euro, the dollar, the yen etc, and, therefore, do not require waiting for economically enlightened politicians to be elected to national office. I believe that the creation of such regional currencies is an extremely important practical stratagey for for combating the destructive tendencies of our current economic system. Kennedy is by no means the only person active in writing an promonting such monetary strategies, but she writes well and convincingly. (Viewed 11/30/2006)   
 
ReinventingMoney.com - This is the website of Thomas H. Greco, another monetary theorist promoting the creation of interest free, inflation free, community controlled currencies. The site includes extensive writings by the author, including a PDF version of his E-book 'Money: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender'. The site also includes exerpts from other writers and thinker relative to monetary reform as well as links to sitse giving practical advice about how become invovled in currency creation. I believe that this is an extremely important subject for anyone wishing to take practical action to mitigate the destructive tendencies of our current economic system. (Viewed 11/30/2006) 
 
A Catechism of Growth Fallacies by Herman Daly - This is chapter 5 from econonomist Herman Daly's book 'Steady State Economics' posted on the website dieoff.org. In this chapter Daly debunks the arguments from various orthodox econmists about why there are ot limits to economic growth (or if there are limits they are so far in the future that they are of no immediate concern to practical people). I particularly enjoyed his comments on the 'angelized GNP' in which economic output is suppose to go on increasingexponentially forever (by means of the services sector of the economy) even though the material throughput does not. Although the idea that economic growth has limits can be regarded as a commonsense observation, we have been so mesmerized by propaganda in favor of the contrary assumption that it is a worthwhile excercise to read through these explicit criticisms of the standard pro-growth arguments.  (Viewed 11/30/2006) 
 
The Uppsala Protocol for Oil Depletion - This is the text of an oil depletion protocol proposed by Colin Cambell and Kjell Aleklett who were particpants in a hydrocarbon depletion study group at Uppsala University in Sweden. This particular proposal does not strike me as particularly practical, but in my mind there is no doubt that a mechanism other than that of supply and demand will have to be used to prevent economic chaos as the oil supply starts to decline.  (Viewed 11/30/2006) 
 
Feasta Money Proposal - FEASTA is an Irish organization called the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability. This is a link to their fascinating proposal for the creation of a new interest free world currency based on  carbon emission rights proportional to national population size at an agreed upon date. I think that this idea has more merit than the UPSALA depletion protocol. It directly addresses the problem of money creation through interest bearing debt which creates an imperative for rapid economic growth, and it addresses oil consumption indirectly through emissions quotas, which allow much more flexibility than directly putting quotas on oil consumption. However, since this proposal would entail the transfer of a huge amount of economic power from rich nations to poor nations it is clearly not going to be agreed to until the enormity of the problems we are facing is more widely understood throughout the developed world. (Viewed 11/30/2006) 
 
The Law Says Corporations are Persons, but Psychology Knows Better - This is an article by Dennis R. Fox, a retired professor of legal studies and pyschology. He argues that profit driven coporations as they are currently legally defined are insitutionally destructive organizations no matter how well intentioned are the individuals who work for them. This same point has been made by a variety of writers, but this is the best written, most intelligenty argued essay on the subject which I have read. (Viewed 11/30/2006) 
 
The quality of life and resource consumption in the state of Kerala, India - This is an interesting aritcle by writer and economist Richard Douthwaite about  how the Indian state of Kerala has achieved a high quality of life (measured by infant mortality rate, life expectancy, and literacy level) with nearly zero economic growth and very low levels of income compared to the highly developed economies of the world. This is a valuable counter-example to point out to those who claim that our only economic choices are Wall Street or the Politburo. 
The real science of political economy, which has yet to be distinguished from the bastard science, as medicine from witchcraft, and astronomy from astrology, is that which teaches nations to desire and labor for the things that lead to life; and which teaches them to scorn and destroy the things which lead to destruction. 
 
John Ruskin
 
 
 
 
Roger Brown 
Rogerkb@theworldisfinite.com