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Thread: Whats a sustainable economy?

  1. #1 Whats a sustainable economy? 
    Forum Freshman E(i)lusiveReality's Avatar
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    What should we strive for? What exactly is the ideal situation for an economy to prosper
    in terms with consumer attitude and production attitude.
    Basically i want to know how a economy gets better?(or whats good economy at the first place).


    Import > Export. That the favourable Economic Ratio for the human mind .
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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Our current monetary and economic systems, based on capitalism usury profit and wages, are not sustainable nor based on the best interests of humans in general, benefits (and hazards) are side effects.

    This means what is good for the "economy" is not necesseraly good for the people, often whats good for the economy is mostly good for a handful of people while costly or detrimental for the majority. What we should strive for is an economic system that primarily benefits mankind, where prevention or a permanent cure for cancer is not seen as the unfortunate end of a multibillion dollar cash cow by powerful interest but as something that is good, and where individuals employed in a now obsolete job see no disadvantages during transition (unemployment, precarious period, risk of bankruptcy).


    A universal basic income combined with a different monetary system without fractional reserve banking, progressive fiscality and more open and transparent public services, could potentially help. An economy without money like Star Trek is another possibility but harder to imagine for many people and harder to implement at this point(hopefully it will be implemented before the 23rd century, afterall doors that open automatically and whireless hand held communication devices [cell phones] were considered sci-fi decades ago and are now quite common, a money-less economy may appear as unthinkable to us as flying would appear to a caveman).


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  4. #3  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    Sustainable resources. It all comes down to the raw materials.
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  5. #4  
    Time Lord
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    I think that's the problem with the money system. It doesn't represent the value of natural resources adequately, and so we as a community are motivated to depreciate them and waste them.

    When something isn't scarce, the price is zero. Air is like that now, but if we push things far enough there may come a time when clean air is scarce enough to become a trade-able commodity. Then people will talk about "air prices" the same way as we talk about "real estate" prices today. There will even be people who think it is important to keep "air prices" high by not overproducing it.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    agreed. However, charging for resources the price they are worth would be astronomically expensive
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  7. #6  
    Time Lord
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    How about charging for their misuse?
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    How about charging for their misuse?
    How would you enforce that? It's a good idea though.
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  9. #8  
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    Sometimes I think the government should own all things that are not man made within their territories. Letting a person buy, and then privately own a natural resource creates the illusion that their work lead to that resource's existence, and they are therefore entitled to do with it as they please.

    That would be true, if we were talking about something man made. If, for example, you work hard, save your money, and buy a car, it could be argued that even though your own hands weren't the ones that made the car, your hands made something that those car-builders were willing to trade their time for. Therefore telling a person they can't abuse their car is the same as telling them that they don't own their own labor. (The labor they traded away to own the car.)

    But we can see this becomes problematic if we argue that a person is free to abuse a natural resource on the basis of having traded their labor to own that as well.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    I'm not positive, but doesn't the government already do that?
    Ex: I want to drill for some oil in the Gulf of mexico 1 mile offshore. Don't I have to bay the gov't for those rights?

    Solution to the abuse problem: make it illegal to abuse your resources as compared to gov't standards.
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  11. #10  
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    response to the OP: a sustainable economy must use no more of each resource than it produces. we cannot produce more of any resource than we use, that's thermodynamics. if we produce less of any resource than we use then it's not sustainable, we'll eventually run out of said resource.

    I've never heard of a completely sustainable economy, but we certainly couldn't run one with this many people, the standard of living would be so low that wars for resources would pop up just about everywhere and the population would decline.

    I recently saw a documentary about what's going to happen after we run out of fossil fuels(a result of having a non-sustainable economy based almost purely on fossil fuel power). without oil there is no gas, without gas there are no cars(even hybrids and electrics, most of our electricity comes from fossil fuels), without cars and other transportation devices you won't have the ability to find work far from yourself, most companies with large markets will have to cut back severely, everything you use must come from the area, and many other transportation-related problems.

    the same would be true of a sustainable economy, because fossil fuels are not reusable we could not use them in an economy and call it sustainable(and based on our past history of sipping up fossil fuels wherever we find them, this will not occur untill after the crash).

    if you look at animal populations, they do not have sustained periods of growth, they grow and then they shrink due to periods of high and low resources. the human population in small areas used to follow basically similar patterns but since the advent of farming the population has steadily increased as we dedicated more of the world's land to farming. if we wish to continue this growth we'll have to increase the amount of land used for farming(our use of chemicals and other technologies to increase farming productivity are not in the least bit sustainable) and the ecological damage would not be worth sustaining the system.

    in summation the two first things to know about a sustainable economy: no long periods of growth because it's never sustainable and no products from long distances because the energy cost of transportation is too high.
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
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  12. #11  
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    Simply put, it is theoretically possible to create a sustainable economy, however by no means would it be a universally fair in terms of benefits and living standards.
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