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Old 10-17-2012, 09:33 PM
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Default Economics question...help me understand

Listening to the political hot air being blown around I keep coming back to something that is bugging me. Maybe I missed something in those dry as hell econ classes I took an eon ago but...

How can the economy (ours or any other) continue to grow indefinitely?

People complain about growth that's too small ("it's only at x.yz%...") implying the a larger growth would be better. Sure...I'll give them that, the economy would turn around faster if there was more growth...but as some point it has to stop growing, right?

Nothing grows forever. Resources and physics limit growth in nature (individual size, population, carrying capacity, etc) When resources are scant growth is scant or nil, when resources are flush growth is larger....why does the economy not follow the same limitations?

Last edited by tatterhood; 10-17-2012 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:54 PM
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Resources are unlimited (in the human frame). Very few things actually get used up. Metals are recycled. Oxygen is liberated from CO2 by photosynthesis. Oil is only a "convenient" source of energy. It will never be "used up", just harder to find. Methane and sun light and geothermal and biomass and wind can replace it. It's just a matter of effort. Food may become short in supply, but we are long way from running out of crop land. That's one of the reasons the super blight, or super virus scares people so much, it would change the formula.

The country's population is still expanding. You need growth to keep pace. You need growth, to move the population from low paying jobs, to high paying jobs. You need growth, to have bigger houses, and more XBoxes per household. Growth is relative. We measure our wealth in comparison to the rest of the world. As long as we are the highest, we feel rich.

The problem is, we've been growing since WWII (except for the Carter years). And, now we are shrinking, and people are scared. Problem is we overheated the economy, and now we are paying for it. Once all the sources of wealth are sucked dry, we will start a British type fall.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:01 PM
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Tough question and wade touched on the microeconomics standpoint that also touches on human geography. Here is some info from the macroeconomics standpoint that might help. There really is no direct answer but it's more of a drawn conclusion of many fundamentals.
http://economics.about.com/od/econom...nomics-101.htm
http://www.macrobasics.com/chapters/
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:41 AM
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i have 2 jobs. one at one of these jobs, we aim to actually save people money.

the other job, ( verizon ), we're supposed to aim for the highest gross profit sale. i currently have the highest rate of discounting in the whole company. yet, the highest gross profit at our location ( we dont get alot of foot traffic compared to others.) at verizon i get in trouble for discounting. verizon was recently at a plateau point, which triggered the release of the share everything plan in an attempt to get more activations. oh but no discounting though, we have to try to sell them more and more stuff.

this other job that focuses on saving people money instead, has been growing steadily since it started. now one of the fastest growing companies on earth.

its not hard to figure out that offering products or services at a lower price is a key formula to growth. why dont all companies do it? the only answer to me would be greed. thats why we have stopped growing or have slowed down our growth rate.

i agree with wade on the resources part. but regulation prevents growth and expansion of crop fields, and other ways to develop the necessities. why so much regulation? why not make it easy for ANYONE to grow a field of veggies? you know somethings up when a few years ago, they were trying to make it illegal to grow your own garden. why else wouldnt you let anyone grow a garden rather than the fact that you dont want independant growth? other than the fact that you want the power to yourself? ( talkin to the "big dogs" )
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:17 AM
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It's just a race to the bottom for American business nowdays.....who can give the most for the least and be the last to go out of business wins.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:27 PM
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Economic growth is usually associated with technological changes. For example the birth of the railroad, the automobile, or NASA and the technology they brought us. Our latest large advance was of course the internet. The growth of an economy is thought of not only as an increase in productive capacity but also as an improvement in the quality of life to the people of that economy.
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