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But there are two responses: first, from the point of view of economics, resource scarcity may mean diminishing returns, which are economically important; second, some natural resources are not appropriable and can be treated as free (sunlight, for example), but others are indeed appropriable.

Thus, for both economic and political reasons, we should put natural resources into the heart of economics, thereby remedying a neoclassical mistake.

There's another, more fundamental, point:

Capital can be produced by human industry. Raw materials cannot. They can be utilised more efficiently or more extensively, but they cannot be created, except through exceptional difficulty (yes, copper can be made from other metals if you have a linear accelerator, but that is unlikely to be economical...).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jul 13th, 2010 at 08:25:09 AM EST

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