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Old 02-28-2018, 12:40 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,831 posts, read 57,830,396 times
Reputation: 29215

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
I think the notion of an economy built on endless growth
(which is in turn based on ever-increasing consumption) is complete nonsense.
hyperbole aside... the issue is in the quality of the product not just the quantity of it.
And that's true whether the number is growing or retracting or stagnant.

The US (and the West in general) has a quality problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RP
What I mean (and everybody else means) by the word ‘quality’ cannot be broken down into subjects and predicates.
This is not because Quality is so mysterious but because Quality is so simple, immediate and direct.
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
2,961 posts, read 1,012,279 times
Reputation: 3781
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
hyperbole aside...
What hyperbole?

Quote:
...the issue is in the quality of the product not just the quantity of it.
Didn't you just post about how threads go all to hell with posts that should be topics of their own?

The quality of our consumer goods is almost wholly irrelevant to the overall problem of overconsumption to drive an expanding economy. See: Shoe Event Horizon.
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:59 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,831 posts, read 57,830,396 times
Reputation: 29215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
Didn't you just post about how threads go all to hell with posts that should be topics of their own?
I'm only marginally less guilty of it than anyone else.

Quote:
The quality of our consumer goods...
Was not the intended reference.

The quality of the various efforts that constitute "GDP" are lesser today than in the past.
Critically... the past that the current (mostly service job transactions) is compared to.

We are less than we once were.
And we have more people (not) doing it.
It can't last.
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Old 02-28-2018, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
5,170 posts, read 4,730,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
The quality of the various efforts that constitute "GDP" are lesser today than in the past.
Can you be more specific?
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Old 02-28-2018, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
3,673 posts, read 3,251,579 times
Reputation: 6508
Quote:
Is Higher GDP a bad thing?
Of course it's a bad thing. Trump's policies are ushering in an era of higher GDP growth. Obama kept it low. Ergo, high is bad and low is good.

Also freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, and war is peace.
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Old 02-28-2018, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
2,961 posts, read 1,012,279 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
I'm only marginally less guilty of it than anyone else.
But notably more honest. Kudos.

Quote:
The quality of the various efforts that constitute "GDP" are lesser today than in the past.
Critically... the past that the current (mostly service job transactions) is compared to.

We are less than we once were.
And we have more people (not) doing it.
It can't last.
I find this sweeping to the point of meaninglessness, to be honest.

If you're saying we're producing mountains of low-quality junk to exceed prior GDP levels created by a smaller quantity of higher-quality junk, I understand that and even agree to some extent. But it's all pretty much irrelevant to the problem of overconsumption; it doesn't matter whether you clog your arteries with Cheese Puffs or the fat on a filet mignon; you're gonna die.

We must abandon the economic practice of not only endless growth, but yoking every other "positive" to that endless growth. Not should, not from principles, not from commie influence, but for survival. (Oh, and quality of life for a few hundred million to a several of billions, too.)
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Old 02-28-2018, 01:46 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,831 posts, read 57,830,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rruff View Post
Can you be more specific?
Probably but I'll settle for general.

Few of the service sector transactions create anything
and we have far too many of them (vs manufacturing etc).

Compound that with the lack of accrual from those transactions
to most in the service sector unlike the decades past being compared to.

Less than.
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Old 02-28-2018, 01:49 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,831 posts, read 57,830,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
If you're saying we're producing mountains of low-quality junk...
I'm not.

What we do produce is generally top notch.
We just don't do enough of it relative to the non-manufacturing sectors.

I'm okay enough (in principle) with lower levels of productivity...
I'd just believe that requires having fewer people to justify.
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Old 02-28-2018, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
2,961 posts, read 1,012,279 times
Reputation: 3781
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
What we do produce is generally top notch.
We just don't do enough of it.
So you think we need to consume more?

Or simply produce more fine-quality stuff and... send it to the recyclers or landfills? (That's been done, you know.)
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Old 02-28-2018, 02:14 PM
 
6,815 posts, read 4,408,035 times
Reputation: 11918
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
For someone who thinks the only effective carrot is a paycheck, I can see why you think all that.
It's the most effective carrot for most people. For the next "level" of person, it's plaudits and accolades... how many citations one garners on Google Scholar. But is that fundamentally different? After all, material pursuits are less about fast cars or good food, than of convincing other people, that one's car is fast and one's food is good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
My position is not that it's awful, just awful that someone has three Mercedeses (? plural there? ) in their driveway... but that as a population we nearly all have such excess, nearly all of which is deeply rationalized as "need." The problem here is not something idealistic, but that we simply can't do it any more - not and survive as a nation, a globe of nations or a planet. We must adapt or pay a nearly K-T event price.
So, is yours more of a sustainability-argument, or an ethical argument? If the former, then I contend that technology might provide an answer. That is, the solution to encroaching environmental degradation is neither more modest consumer-behavior, nor more draconian government regulation, but in the invention and promulgation of cleaner-technologies. If that stable fusion-reaction thing (from our AI thread) ever materializes, then that’s a large part of the answer right there. So is a qualitative change in battery energy-density. And if we’re going to indulge in hyperbolic excess, maybe those AI spacecraft constellations will finally succeed in building that Dyson sphere.

I’m not persuaded by the sustainability-argument; not because the issue is unimportant, but because we tend to underestimate our human ingenuity in getting things done. The ethical argument, however, is more substantial and adamantine. If all that we do is collect Mercedes cars in our driveways, 4K televisions in our living rooms and so forth, then that crowds out time to think, to use our senses and minds in ways beyond superficial appetite-indulgence. We become richer in nominal ways, but poorer in substantive ways… which is a shame. However – and it’s a crucial “however” – we need the materialism to generate the funds to sustain the high-culture stuff. Materially-poor societies can’t support top-notch universities, libraries or concert-halls. We need the money-grubbing businessmen, the bankers and the smokestack industries – and we need progressively more of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
The US (and the West in general) has a quality problem.
Is that you, Robert Pirsig?
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