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Pure technological progress, rather, proceeds in waves.  

and ends (if all goes well) in long plateaus.

So I strongly disagree regarding a new economic model that does not have growth as one of its normal states.  

Okay, you can disagree.  But aside from oscillations about a mean, I am sure that growth cannot be a normal state:  It can be a temporary transient state.  

The technical advances we have seen over the last century and a half have been as much a function of cheap energy as SUVs and McMansions.  Like the latter, they will mostly fall apart fairly quickly when energy becomes expensive.  

The US and Europe are not in the same place in this.  The US has looted out its infrastructure--both physical and mental.  This is literal:  Our bridges are falling down, the educational function of our school systems is being abandoned, and our institutions, private and corporate, are corrupt, and the larger the scale, the worse the corruption is.  Europe is still only in the process of succumbing to Anglo-Disease.  If it can throw off the infection, a much softer landing (to a modest style of living) can be navigated.  

Navigating collapse is totally outside our current models.  Steady state economies can be imagined, but only achieved AFTER collapse has been navigated.  Which is unlikely, and why the most likely scenerio is a sort of free-fall:  Whatever happens will happen with little mitigation.  It is like a drug addict's final binge.  

That does not mean I advocate doing nothing.  I am looking for things that are robust--that that will hold up against a great deal of mischief.  There is no theory for this, though I do suspect those who recommend imitating the natural world closely have the right idea.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Sat Jun 7th, 2008 at 03:56:30 AM EST
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