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As I've long maintained capitalism only works when resources are readily available and the externalities of depletion and pollution are ignored. The borrowed money is paid back, with interest, by extracting value from resources which aren't accounted for. The continual existence of resources is also assumed which allows for permanent growth. An impossibility.

This was certainly Polanyi's position regarding 19th century USA.  He noted that economics was the art of allocating various scarce resources amongst various competing ends and then noted that economics did not really apply to 19th USA, as there was "free" land in the form of available homesteads, "free" labor in the form of large numbers of immigrants willing to work for bare subsistence and "free" money in the form of gold and silver that could be dug from the ground.

All of these points can be argued, but there is a certain truth to his argument.  It would also support a contention that the discipline of economics is more PR than science, certainly as practiced in its Neo-Classical incarnations.  When everything that is essentially free for the taking has been grabbed, then those who have grabbed the most need rationales for taking things away from those who have grabbed less.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 8th, 2008 at 01:25:47 AM EST

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