X-Message-Number: 19343
From: "Mark Plus" <>
Subject: New Economy versus "stuff" economy
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 10:23:27 -0700

Some scientists are arguing that humanity is using about 120% of Earth's 
"sustainable" production, which sounds a lot like a living-beyond-your-means 


Not that long ago, however, I was running across claims that in the 
so-called New Economy, matter was becoming economically obsolete, or words 
to that effect.  The new wealth creation didn't depend on natural resources, 
but was instead coming from the application of ideas and intellectual 
capital, which don't wear out or get used up and with more being generated 
all the time.

Of course, the people who really benefitted from the New Economy seemed to 
be just as stuff-centered as previous generations of industrial tycoons, 
buying big houses, luxury cars, yachts and other expensive material 
collectibles to indicate their status.  (No matter how much money they have, 
however, they can't write a check to buy themselves another few decades or 
centuries of worthwhile life -- at least not yet.)

I get the impression that the New Economy isn't really as immaterial as its 
boosters claimed.  Its future certainly doesn't look promising if it hasn't 
reduced our demands on environmental systems that might be impossible to 
replace if they crash around us.

Mark Plus

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