Anyone who thinks consumption can expand forever on a finite planet is either insane or an economist.

– E.F. Schumacher

Bad Economics

The consumption explosion, which originated at the beginning of the industrial revolution 250 years ago and has been growing since, has two key causes. The first is the factor of economic growth which is inherent in the capitalist system. This systematic growth is compounded by the second factors of population growth and changes in consumption.

Bad economies

A good economy is subordinate to peoples’ well-being, meaning that it exists to support wellbeing – this is generally not the case in our modern economies. In bad economics the economy is in a primary, dominant place above our well-being. It thereby turns the tables and makes our well-being support the economy.

People are often led to believe that their well-being is driven by economic factors. This is largely not true. The economy is just one organ of society. Its fundamental purpose is to organise resources such as labour and raw materials in order to produce goods and services that create well-being.

There are fundamental flaws in our economic system that enables it to overstep its role to provide well-being, and consequently become dysfunctional.

Aspects of bad economics

These flaws are confounded by underlying, damaging ideologies that fuel the modern obsession with the economic machine:

  1. economic growth
  2. capital and profit
  3. productivity and efficiency
  4. not counting external costs
  5. decoupling the economy
Bad economics leads to social environmental problems like pollution and emissions