[W]e are seeing a perfect storm of converging crises that together represent a watershed moment in the history of our species. We are witnesses to, and participants in, the transition from decades of economic growth to decades of economic contraction. ....
The realization that we have reached the point where growth cannot continue is undeniably depressing. But once we have passed that psychological hurdle, there is some moderately good news.
Not all economists have fallen for the notion that growth will go on forever. There are schools of economic thought that recognize nature’s limits and, while these schools have been largely marginalized in policy circles, they have developed potentially useful plans that could help society adapt.
The basic factors that will inevitably shape whatever replaces the growth economy are knowable. To survive and thrive for long, societies have to operate within the planet’s budget of sustainably extractable resources. ....
We must convince ourselves that life in a non-growing economy can be fulfilling, interesting, and secure. ....
The end of growth
The U.S. now has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics! Good 10-part series. [more]
... The evening arrived; the boys took their places. The master, in his cook's uniform, stationed himself at the copper; his pauper assistants ranged themselves behind him; the gruel was served out; and a long grace was said over the short commons. The gruel disappeared; the boys whispered each other, and winked at Oliver; while his next neighbours nudged him. Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery. He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity:
'Please, sir, I want some more.'
The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupified astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralysed with wonder; the boys with fear.
'What!' said the master at length, in a faint voice.
'Please, sir,' replied Oliver, 'I want some more.'
The master aimed a blow at Oliver's head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arm; and shrieked aloud for the beadle.
The board were sitting in solemn conclave, when Mr. Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement, and addressing the gentleman in the high chair, said,
'Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! Oliver Twist has asked for more!'
There was a general start. Horror was depicted on every countenance.
'For MORE!' said Mr. Limbkins. 'Compose yourself, Bumble, and answer me distinctly. Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had eaten the supper allotted by the dietary?'
'He did, sir,' replied Bumble.
Oliver Twist, Chapter 2.
... The thing about Wall Streeters is that no matter how much money you give them, they always want more. Now they are using their political power and control over the media to attack Social Security.
This effort is being led by billionaire investment banker Peter Peterson. Mr. Peterson has personally profited to the tune of tens of millions of dollars from the "fund managers' tax subsidy," an obscure provision of the tax code that allows billionaires to pay a lower tax rate than schoolteachers and firefighters. However, Peterson believes in giving back. He has committed $1 billion to an effort that is intended to take away the Social Security benefits that people have worked and paid for.
The Wall Street TARP Gang Wants to Take Away Your Social Security
Although G-20 (... an internationally renown travelling company of very bad entertainers - sans animals!) managed to spurt-out few right "phrases" about wanting to set up a warning system to avoid future financial shocks, avoid protectionism, support the global recovery and work on exchange rate/trade policy rules, et al, ... it appears nothing have been actually accomplished at the meeting!
Chevron Corp. on Tuesday became the latest oil giant to bet big on the natural gas in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale, agreeing to pay $4.3 billion for Atlas Energy Inc., a producer with deep Philadelphia roots. ....
Chevron's acquisition reaffirms the magnitude of the Marcellus Shale reserve, a mile-deep layer that lies under more than half of Pennsylvania and stretches from New York to West Virginia. It is the largest known U.S. gas field, according to Energy Department estimates.
This year, ExxonMobil Corp., the largest U.S. oil company, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. have acquired operators with substantial Pennsylvania shale-gas holdings. Companies from Norway, Japan, and France have also bought stakes in Marcellus acreage.
Chevron to pay $4.3 billion for Atlas Energy and joins Marcellus Shale field