growth

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The End of Growth

Either it ends, or we do
Friday, June 22, 2018, 7:57 PM

More and more, I hear that folks are feeling frustrated and betrayed, combined with a sense of loss and despair. I feel this way, too.

At a deep level, what ails us is not a host of unrelated, intractable problems, but the fact that our model of pursuing eternal economic growth simply isn't working anymore. It doesn’t work for the planet’s increasingly strained ecosystems, nor does it work for the bottom 99% of folks in society (i.e., the non-elites). The various health epidemics society suffers from today are merely symptoms of a larger acute spiritual crisis.

But viewed at a certain angle, this may be a good sign.

Why? Because in order to shift from one model to another, the old one first has to become unbearable. » Read more

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Lewis Dartnell: How To Rebuild The World From Scratch

If society collapsed overnight, how would we re-create it?
Tuesday, December 5, 2017, 3:24 PM

If our technological society collapsed tomorrow, what crucial knowledge would we need to survive in the immediate aftermath and to rebuild civilization as quickly as possible?

Ask yourself this: If you had to go back to absolute basics like some sort of post-cataclysmic Robinson Caruso, would you know how to recreate an internal combustion engine? Put together a microscope? Get metals out of rock? Or produce food for yourself? » Read more

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Off The Cuff: So Then What?

If robust economic growth returns, is that a good thing?
Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 1:46 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris discusses:

  • So Then What?
    • The cost of growth may be much higher than we truly want
  • The Exponential Model Can't Work Forever
    • Simple math, but wishful thinking ignores it
  • Data, Debt & Demographics
    • The really big trends all point to growing scarcity
  • Spend Less & Spend Local
    • Smart frugality is the path of the future

This week Chris explores: What will happen if those cheering for higher economic growth indeed get what they want? Will things really be better off?

Simply put: No.

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today.
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Tim Jackson: The High Price Of Growth

A finite planet cannot sustain infinite economic growth
Monday, October 16, 2017, 3:31 PM

Modern society is addicted to and engineered for perpetual economic growth.

Now, a fourth-grader can tell you that nothing can grow forever, especially if you have finite resources. But that simple realization is eluding today's central planners, despite multiplying evidence that growth is becoming harder and harder to come by.

This week's podcast guest is Professor Tim Jackson, sustainability advisor for the UK government, professor of sustainable development at the University of Surrey and Director of CUSP. Tim is also a full member of the Club of Rome.

He explains why the exponential growth rates of today's economies, and their associated rates of resource extraction/consumption, will not be able to continue for much longer -- and why a pursuit of "prosperity" (defined much more broadly than simple consumerism) is a much healthier goal for humanity.

 

 

Podcast

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Richard Sylla: This Is An Inherently Dangerous Moment In History

Low interest rates are causing distortions & mis-allocations
Monday, August 7, 2017, 2:42 PM

"The rates we’ve had in recent years, including right now, are the lowest in history. The book that I co-authored on the history of interest rates traces back to the code of Hammurabi, Babylonian civilization, Greek and Roman civilization, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and early modern history right up to the present. And I can assure our listeners that the rates that they’re experiencing right now are the lowest in human history."

So says Richard Sylla, Professor Emeritus of Economics and the Former Henry Kaufman Professor of the History of Financial Institutions and Markets at New York University's Stern School of Business. He is also co-author of the book A History Of Interest Rates

We invited Professor Sylla onto the podcast after hearing his work favorably referenced by the panel convened at the recent hearing held by the US Congress titled: “The Federal Reserve’s Impact on Main Street, Retirees and Savings.”

Based on his deep study across the scope of millennia of human history, Sylla warns we are at a dangerous moment in time. » Read more

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The Inevitability Of DeGrowth

Our current debt & energy orgy can't last much longer
Friday, July 7, 2017, 10:45 PM

Even though we don't know precisely how the future will unfold, we know a few things about it.

Simply put, debt-dependent consumption in a world in which wages stagnate for the bottom 90% and energy costs increase as demand outstrips supply is a system with only one possible end-point: collapse. » Read more

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Archeoguidaroma

Joseph Tainter: The Collapse Of Complex Societies

What history predicts about our future prospects
Sunday, June 25, 2017, 11:20 PM

By popular demand, we welcome Joseph Tainter, USU professor and author of The Collapse Of Complex Societies (free book download here).

Dr. Tainter sees many of the same unsustainable risks the PeakProsperity.com audience focuses on -- an overleveraged economy, declining net energy per capita, and depleting key resources. 

He argues that the sustainability or collapse of a society follows from the success or failure of its problem-solving institutions. His work shows that societies collapse when their investments in social complexity and their energy subsidies reach a point of diminishing marginal returns. That is what we are going to be talking about today, especially in regards to where our culture is today, the risks it faces, and whether or not we might already be past the tipping point towards collapse but just don’t know it yet. » Read more

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Get Ready For The Coming Massive Correction

One we may never fully recover from
Friday, June 9, 2017, 7:46 PM

Executive Summary

  • The economic data is getting darker fast
  • The over-indebtedness of the economy is the worst it's ever been
  • Predicting the timing of the next major market correction
  • As the risks mount, what should the concerned investor do?

If you have not yet read Part 1: Why The Markets Are Overdue For A Gigantic Bust available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The Data Says…Another Downturn Is Upon Us

Our view is that a massive market correction is coming, one that may well rip the financial markets apart, and cause very long-term and long lasting damage, possibly to the point of taking generations to repair in any meaningful sense.

In fact things may never actually recover to the current heights because recovery requires energy and there simply isn’t the net energy per capita that existed in the past.

For now, we see plenty of signs of fundamental economic weakness, and this is not surprising at this stage of the so-called economic expansion.  The truth is this expansion has been phony to a large degree, and quite probably should have broken down many times in the past, most recently in early 2016.

But the central banks prevented that and we can all feel thankful at the extra time that has provided us to become more resilient under reasonably calm circumstances.

And yet, the one thing that central banks have never been able to do is... » Read more

Podcast

Peak Prosperity

Nafeez Ahmed: Our Systems Are Failing

This is an evolutionary moment for our species
Sunday, February 19, 2017, 4:19 PM

Dr. Nafeez Ahmed is an award winning 15 year investigative journalist, noted international security scholar, best-selling author and film-maker.  He authored The Guardian’s Earth Insight blog and has twice won the prestigious Project Censored Award for outstanding investigative journalism.

In his new book Failing States, Collapsing Systems, Nafeez points out, as we often do here at PeakProsperity.com, that everything in our modern society is connected to energy, and that our pursuit of ever more, ever higher growth is finally colliding with planetary limits. Scarcity and strife will be the dominant trends from here, unless we, as a species, start looking for different ways of living better-suited for a finite world. » Read more

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The Great Market Tide Has Now Shifted To Risk-Off Assets

A global sea-change in risk appetite & sentiment
Friday, July 8, 2016, 3:03 PM

In the conventional investment perspective, risk-on assets (i.e. investments with higher risks and higher potential returns) such as stocks are on a see-saw with risk-off assets (investments with lower returns and lower risk, such as Treasury bonds). When risk appetites are high, institutional managers and speculators move money into stocks and high-yield junk bonds, and move money out of safe-haven assets such as gold and U.S. Treasuries.

But recently, markets are no longer following this convention. Safe haven assets such as precious metals and Treasuries are soaring at the same time that stock markets bounced strongly off the post-Brexit lows.

Risk-on assets (stocks) rising at the same time as safe-haven assets is akin to dogs marrying cats and living happily ever after. 

What the heck is going on? » Read more