[FoRK] Carrying Capacity Tangent

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Mon Nov 2 08:07:18 PST 2009

--- On Mon, 11/2/09, Jim Whitehead <ejw at cs.ucsc.edu> wrote:

> Or, put another way, if we can
> somehow make it through the 21st century, 
> our civilization will have many fewer population stresses.
> It will also be interesting to see whether capitalist
> economics has an underlying dependency on increasing population.
> - Jim

It certainly does. Canada has been increasing its immigration quotas and even increasing its recruiting activities for a few years now. Just as the Boomer population reaches the age where it will place maximal pressure on all parts of the system, we find we do not have a large enough working population to support it. Not financially and not employee-wise in the affected industries (health and home care, etc.).

It's not "capitalist economics", per se. At least I don't think it is. ... Although now that I think about it I'm not even sure what that phrase actually means.

It's the economics of consumption. It's economic "growth" where the measurement is how much we have increased our consumption. At a certain point it's difficult to increase consumption without increasing population.

The above is observation, not judgement. 

Here's the judgement part...
I confess that as I have begun to think about it in recent years, I keep getting further from understanding the attraction of consumption as a means of measuring the health of economies and of measuring "progress". 

Is that because it's driven by capitalism (is this your "capitalist economics"?)? Is this the only way capitalism can function? Or do I have capitalism confused with -- thinking it's synonymous with -- greed and avarice?


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