econ term paper

econ term paper - Justin Mason 860265264 Econ 116 March 14,...

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Justin Mason 860265264 Econ 116 March 14, 2008 The inevitable transition to an MSS Of the numerous topics discussed in class this quarter I found the Spaceman economics section to be the most interesting. It raises many questions about the effect our actions have on society while keeping in mind the need for social improvements and consistent modes of production and consumption. The question I am attempting to gain better understanding on is, will a shift towards spaceman economics be a viable replacement to correct the inefficiency of the current capitalist system. By applying lecture notes and drawing information from the two essays written by Boulding and Wheisskopf I will expand on the idea of the earth moving from an open economy to a closed one. This paper will also look to break down the current capitalist system and whether its overall social and environmental costs are enough to outweigh the benefits of the system and also enough to cause system to collapse. Boulding refers to the old economy of the past as Cowboy economics. It is indicative of the open frontier culture, the idea that we can continue to push for new resources in this abundant land when the current level is no longer sustaining life. He associates this type of economics with the words reckless, exploitative, romantic and violent as descriptions of the behavior found in most open societies. As we transition away from the mentality of the cowboy and move to a conservationist stance, certain assumptions will change about our world’s limitations. Under spaceship economics we are focused not on a never ending supply of new resources but instead we focus on
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maintaining a steady level even if we an increase the level of inputs. We are essentially trying to have inputs but without them producing the corresponding level of output. Production and consumption have been viewed as positives under the current capitalism system. The more production the better because it increases the number of inputs and outputs in the society, capitalists are working to maximize these transactions for profit. Success is measured by the total number of transactions taking place. The system is setup in way that rewards the creation of new throughput. The more people involved with production and consumption the better the entire community will prove to be. It is the sum of all individual efforts to produce/consume large amounts of resources. There are key assumptions that are in place to maintain these high levels of resource use. Under the cowboy mindset there are infinite resources but they must be found and extracted and ultimately put into production. There have been numerous advancements in both the industrial and technological world yet they have both also caused serious environmental damage for their introduction into the market. This becomes an increasingly serious problem because earth, and more importantly how man sees himself in the earth has shifted. This is the transition mentioned quite often by Boulding regarding going from an
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econ term paper - Justin Mason 860265264 Econ 116 March 14,...

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