Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Truthful economics

Economics for a Full World 
Herman Daly
Because of the exponential economic growth since World War II, we now live in a full world, but we still behave as if it were empty, with ample space and resources for the indefinite future. The founding assumptions of neoclassical economics, developed in the empty world, no longer hold, as the aggregate burden of the human species is reaching—or, in some cases, exceeding—the limits of nature at the local, regional, and planetary levels. The prevailing obsession with economic growth puts us on the path to ecological collapse, sacrificing the very sustenance of our well-being and survival. To reverse this ominous trajectory, we must transition toward a steady-state economy focused on qualitative development, as opposed to quantitative growth, and the interdependence of the human economy and global ecosphere. Developing policies and institutions for a steady-state economy will require us to revisit the question of the purpose and ends of the economy.

Cite as Herman Daly, "Economics for a Full World," Great Transition Initiative (June 2015),

And I thought all the economists at the World Bank had  forgotten their physical science. Here, in retirement, Daly can speak the truth.  It is well worth reading with care.

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