Thursday, June 9, 2011

One more for the reading list.

Maybe. Or at least, it's going to come quite a way down the list. I've heard it said, usually in reference to physicists, that new theories aren't don't really displace old ones until the older generation of physicists retire and the next generation take over. I don't see it personally. Certainly not in the sciences outside physics. I'm beginning to wonder however, if it's a maxim that should be applied to economists and business leaders. You get the odd one, like this Ray Anderson chap, who as a CEO of a company decided to make his company green/sustainable. In terms of profitability, it paid off. I'll admit that this is only one example, but the impression I get from business leaders who are opposing moves that will force their companies to move to sustainable practices is one of doom and gloom. Say, for example our emissions trading scheme, rather than figuring out ways of doing things better and having the cost of their product reflect it's true cost (in materials, labour and to the environment - yes, I'm one of those who regard the environment as a piece of the infrastructure that underlies all economies), they would bemoan their fate and insist that being forced to find better ways to do things is in fact a death knell for their companies and thus for the economy. I'm sorry, but damaging the environment is a cost and if the final price of the product doesn't reflect that then the company is essentially getting a subsidy.

Economists as well. Especially the neocon ones. It's been shown time and time again that money does not trickle down to the poor when you cut taxes to the rich. I would have thought it was obvious that the whole unregulated free market is a disaster waiting to happen, again. The rational self interested consumer does not exist, the model is flawed. Yet these things are continually pushed. Do we have to wait for this generation of economists to die out and be replaced by ones who are developing models that actually reflect reality rather than project the reality that the previous generation would like to exist?

No comments:

Post a Comment