Forget freakonomics the future is druid economics

In Uncategorized on December 5, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Ok yesterday I linked an Archbishop today it's an Archdruid. 

Yes you heard right Archdruid (and no i'm not cracking up).

Archdruid John Michael Greer's blog is packed with timely and insightful macroeconomic advice. A more clued up pagan ritualst you coudln't hope to find 😉

Our obsession with tertiary productivity(financial services etc) was at the heart of the recent financial crisis. In the article referenced here the Archdruid is asking pertinent questions about why we measure what we measure when it comes to world productivity.

This isn't a dry question of statitics, it matters. It's fundametal to the worldview and effectiveness of our society.

If you value the wrong things at the wrong level then you end up in a world of hurt.

" In an age that will increasingly be constrained by energy limits, for example, a more useful measure of productivity might be energy productivity – that is, output per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) of energy consumed. An economy that produces more value with less energy input is arguably an economy better suited to the downslope of Hubbert's peak, and the relative position of different nations, to say nothing of the trendline of their energy productivity over time, would provide useful information to governments, investors, and the general public alike. For all I know, somebody already calculates this figure, but I'm still waiting to see a politician or an executive crowing over the fact that the country now produces 2% more output per unit of energy.


Now it's true that a simplistic measurement of energy productivity would still make the production of credit swaps look like a better deal. This is one of the many places where the distinction already made in these essays between primary, secondary, and tertiary economies becomes crucial. To recap, the primary economy is nature itself, or specifically the natural processes that provide the human economy with about 3/4 of its total value; the secondary economy is the application of human labor to the production of goods and services; and the tertiary economy is the exchange of abstract units of value, such as money and credit, which serve to regulate the distribution of the goods and services produced by the secondary economy.


The economic statistics used today ignore the primary economy completely, measure the secondary economy purely in terms of the tertiary – calculating production in dollars, say, rather than potatoes and haircuts – and focus obsessively on the tertiary. This fixation means that if an economic policy boosts the tertiary economy, it looks like a good thing, even if that policy does actual harm to the secondary or the primary economies, as it very often does these days. Thus the choice of statistics to track isn't a neutral factor, or a simple one; if it echoes inaccurate presuppositions – for example, the fantasy that the human economy is independent of nature – it can feed those presuppositions right back in as a distorting factor into every economic decision we make.


How might this be corrected? One useful option, it seems to me, is to divide up several of the most important economic statistics into primary, secondary, and tertiary factors. (Of course the first step is to get honest numbers in the first place; governments aren't going to do this any time soon, for obvious reasons, but there's no reason why people and organizations outside of government can't make a start.) Consider, as a good example, what might be done with the gross domestic product."

I found this via GOOD and Energy Bulletin the full article and several others are worth checking out on Johns Blog.

Posted via email from Urban Ascetic (Lite)


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