The Confusion of Cost & Value*


Economics is a fiction attempting to turn linear costs into a semblance of a circular system. We’re fed the line that by paying a cost we provide a benefit and, in turn either directly or indirectly, another benefit will come around to us. This is a line, a lie, since economic costs all ultimately settle onto “externalities.” While these are external to the economic fairy tale, they directly impinge on the Earth’s capacities – including all of our human capacities. We all pay costs, most of them hidden – not so successfully any more, just look at the Gulf of Mexico, before the media has messaged us all into believing it’s “normal” to have a dead sea pumping oil out into the Atlantic in a Gulf™ Stream. These costs accrue and compound and eventually come due; but not in the way the economic fairy tale would have it.

Continue reading The Confusion of Cost & Value*

Capital, Productivity and Value


The infamous Signor Ponzi has given his name to the felonious concept of extracting “value” from the unsuspecting by generating an economic perpetual motion machine. Human greed and gullibility united in the deep wish for something for nothing leaving lots of nothing for most and all the something to a few. Is this all that capitalism has ever done? If we balance all the books, that may be what we find.… Continue reading Capital, Productivity and Value

On Reflection… part 2


There have been times when it has seemed appropriate to appeal to the metaphor of a snake shedding its skin. This last year brings to mind a different serpentine behavior, stupor induced by the effort to digest an enormous meal. An Anaconda at these times can be mistaken for a fallen tree trunk….

“Relax! Take it easy.”


We hear this often enough. These days it probably sounds like good advice. Yet behind it is a troubling assumption. One that touches on how we keep running in circles, returning to the same traps again and again. We confuse ease with relaxation. What does it mean to be relaxed?