Sunday, March 29, 2009

Is the Economic Mess Just Too Big?

The wife thinks everything is going into soem sort of economic black hole. She is not the only one.

From The Nation comes Rising to the Occasion:
What is most galling, from a socialist perspective, is the dawning notion that capitalism may be leaving us with less than it found on this planet, about 400 years ago, when the capitalist mode of production began to take off. Marx imagined that industrial capitalism had potentially solved the age-old problem of scarcity and that there was plenty to go around if only it was equitably distributed. But industrial capitalism--with some help from industrial communism--has brought about a level of environmental destruction that threatens our species along with countless others. The climate is warming, the oil supply is peaking, the deserts are advancing and the seas are rising and contain fewer and fewer fish for us to eat. You don't have to be a freaky doomster to see that extinction may be what's next on the agenda
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From The Sunday Herald comes Leading adviser's warning to ministers: the problem's not bankers, it's society:

The pursuit of economic growth, founded on the increasing consumption of material goods, has failed to bring social justice, prosperity or happiness, the report says.

"The narrow pursuit of growth represents a horrible distortion of the common good and of underlying human values," the report concludes. "The market was not undone by rogue individuals or the turning of a blind eye by incompetent regulators. It was undone by growth itself."

The report presents a fundamental challenge to the economic policies being pursued in London and Edinburgh, raising questions about some of the basic tenets of modern capitalism. We are living in an "age of irresponsibility", it says.

***

But the Scottish Government stressed its purpose was "sustainable economic growth". A spokesman added: "To suggest we stop trying to grow our economy, when we can see the effects of the recession around Scotland, is completely wrong."

Sustainability was a "fundamental aspect" of economic policy, he argued. "That's why we have set out actions to create thousands of jobs in sustainable industries that harness Scotland's natural advantages."

The Confederation of British Industry in Scotland also gave the report's findings a cool reception. "The dismal picture portrayed by the SDC is not one we recognise," said CBI Scotland's David Lonsdale
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