Re: Teach the hungry (Was: Hollywood Economics)

J. Maxwell Legg (
Fri, 04 Sep 1998 19:44:37 +1200

Dan Fabulich wrote:

> J. Maxwell Legg wrote:
> >All money comes into existance as a debt. If all debts were repaid there
> >would be no money. For more on the debt engine read "Billions for Banksters"
> >at:-
> >
> >
> This is an argument against fiat money, not money in general. A gold
> standard, for example, would not have this problem, and unless you're
> attempting to tell me that gold I extract out of a mine I own is a debt to
> somebody else, that pretty much solves that problem.

Gold is no longer a money standard and the Australian minister who wrote the "billions for Bankers" article hadn't reached the conclusion that I have that money can be replaced by a better neural net. Brutal Capitalism's police, secret societies, drug dealers, gun runners, prostitutes, gamblers, loan sharks, and the like, are the main ones standing to benefit from a continuation of money use. They will be the loosers in an era of open information systems when their money is no longer tolerated.

> And this is simply preposterous. Do you just make this stuff up as you go
> along?
> Funding the prison system doesn't help the government make money. This is
> a bizarre idea and I don't know where you got it from.

Try here. I ripped the following from an ADBUSTER'S website at:

But there's a glaring flaw in the expansionist argument. They haven't come up with an accurate way of measuring the economic growth they keep talking about. Their chief measure of growth is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and it is seriously flawed.


When the Exxon Valdez spilled its load of oil into the Gulf of Alaska -- a dark moment in recent American history -- America's GDP went up. (A lot of money was spent on the cleanup, media coverage, ecological testing, legal fees, etc.) When the Gulf War broke out, America's GDP went up again. Money changed hands. The country became “healthier.” Indeed, every time there's a car accident or a newly diagnosed cancer patient, whenever personal or societal catastrophies occur, the GDP goes up and the economy.”


Walking, biking and mass transit contribute less to the GDP than using an automobile. Trains contribute less than airplanes; an extra blanket or sweater less than raising the thermostat; one-child families less than six-child families; eating legumes less than eating beef; starting a vegetable garden less than buying at the supermarket; staying home to raise your daughter less than getting a part-time job at Wendy's. (Indeed, the GDP fails to assign any value at all to unpaid or volunteer work. Work done by tens of millions of North Americans simply does not show up on the radar. It's as if the work -- and the workers -- don't exist.)

GDP measures the “goods” but not the “bads.” That's why ecological economists have developed their own measures of economic welfare. The three graphs on this page show the GDPs of the US, UK and Germany all heading merrily upward from 1955 through the 1980s. However, a more accurate measure of economic progress, the ISEW (Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare) developed by Herman Daly and John Cobb in 1990, tells a very different story. When some of the “bads,” such as pollution, depletion of non-renewable resources and car exhaust-related health costs are factored in, a radically different picture of the economy emerges. The US, German and UK economies all show no improvement in economic welfare since the 1970s. In fact, economic welfare levels off and starts falling dramatically in each country.

The ISEW (and other economic progress indicators developed since) expose the expansionists as a bunch of eager beavers without a well-considered business plan -- pseudo scientists urging the world ahead before they themselves have clear bearings. Neoclassical economists cling to their mathematical models like children clinging to their teddy bears. They operate in a kind of academic isolation that does not acknowledge the effects of their policies on real people. They see data, not lives. Their world is the world of “revealed preferences” and “rational expectations,” of “perfectly voluntary exchange” and “negative externalities” that can be dismissed. Their world is not our world. Their world does not exist.

“The difference between science and economics,” says F.E. Banks in Truth and Economics, “is that science aims at an understanding of the behaviour of nature, while economics is involved with an understanding of models -- and many of these models have no relation to any state of nature that has ever existed on this planet, or any that is likely to exist between now and doomsday. The word that comes to mind when confronted by these fantasies is fraud.”