Tag Archives: production

  • Blog
    isak55/Shutterstock

    The Rise of New Models of Community

    Why they're emerging & what they need to succeed
    by charleshughsmith

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 4:14 PM

    2

    In my previous series on the erosion of community, I surveyed a number of conventional explanations for this decades-long trend and discussed 10 other potential factors in the decline of social capital. I concluded that economic need would likely be the driver of a resurgence of community—a need that will only become apparent when the Central State and the debt-based, consumerist-corporate system are no longer able to fulfill their implicit promises of welfare, subsidies, endless credit and secure jobs. In this next installment on community, we look at the possibility that new models are arising beneath the mainstream media’s master narratives that Everything’s fine and The Status Quo is both good and eternal.

    Read More »

  • Blog
    © Crispchoice | Dreamstime.com

    We’re Living Through a Rare Economic Transformation

    Those who understand its post-capitalist rules will prosper
    by charleshughsmith

    Thursday, April 4, 2013, 12:47 PM

    64

    In 1993, management guru Peter Drucker published a short book entitled Post-Capitalist Society.  Despite the fact that the Internet was still in its pre-browser infancy, Drucker identified the developed-world economies as knowledge-based as opposed to from industrial economies, which were were from the agrarian societies they superseded.

    Drucker used the term post-capitalist not to suggest the emergence of a new “ism” beyond the free market, but to describe a new economic order that was no longer defined by the adversarial classes of labor and the owners of capital.  Now that knowledge has trumped financial capital and labor alike, the new classes are knowledge workers and service workers.

    Read More »

  • Blog
    © Mike_kiev | Dreamstime.com

    The Siren Song of the Robot

    It may not be the boon we're counting on
    by Gregor Macdonald

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 5:03 PM

    69

    The quest for cheap energy and cheap labor is a conquering human urge, one that has played out with notable ferocity starting with the Industrial Revolution. The introduction of coal into British manufacturing and the more recent outsourcing of Western manufacturing to Asia have marked key thresholds in this ongoing progression.

    But despite the harvesting of additional productivity gains from the more recent revolution in information technology, the suite of macro data suggests that the rate of advancement in physical production has slowed, notably, in the past thirty years.

    Seen in this light, the greatest gains to global industrial production were probably enjoyed from the late 18th century (when coal extraction and use began in earnest) into the mid-20th century (when oil reached broad distribution). In contrast, computers, the Internet, and the leveraging of developing world labor might eventually be seen as the finishing touches on this great industrial wave.

    Read More »

  • Blog

    Selling the Oil Illusion, American Style

    by Gregor Macdonald

    Monday, November 14, 2011, 4:12 PM

    0

    “The task of the real intellectual consists of analyzing illusions in order to discover their causes.” ~ Arthur Miller

    US production of crude oil peaked in 1970 at 9.637 mbpd (million barrels per day) and has been in a downtrend for 40 years. Recently, however, there’s been a tremendous amount of excitement at the prospect of a “new era” in domestic oil production. The narratives currently being offered come in the following three forms: 1) the US has more oil than Saudi Arabia; 2) the US need only to remove regulatory barriers to significantly increase production; and 3) the US can once again become self-sufficient in oil production, dropping all imported oil to zero.

    Let’s first take a look at over 70 years of US oil production.

    Read More »