How do you get someone like this to see sense?

Traditional neoclassical economics was developed in an era when all knowledge systems essentially ignored ecological concerns. In conventional economics, value – which is created by generating profit and accumulating capital for owners and investors – is systematically extracted from the systems in which economic systems are embedded: the social and the ecological systems.

Profit and capital – they’re not the basis of neoclassical economics. Adding value is, sure. Profit being that portion of it that flows to capital owners. But every economic system is concerned with adding value because that’s the subject under discussion. How do we add value?

15 thoughts on “How do you get someone like this to see sense?”

  1. umm. ok i’ll make a suggestion. I keep seeing the word profit dropped in as if followed by a silent “.. ’nuff said”. Perhaps an explaination why the link between profit and “what people want” is actually not that convoluted. If it nudges someone like Joanna nearer to explaining more why what people want is misguided rather than hopping over that bit straight to what should happen in a world without profit.
    The link to what would-be designers want and what the design industry wants, made my heart sink, as if that’s a lacuna that needs addressing sharpish. Will no-one think of the consumers?

  2. Note that the author is a lecturer in design. Coming soon, an article by Richard Murphy explaining how MMT means that teapots should be designed with their handles the same side as their spouts.

  3. My guess is the main problem is how “adding value” is generally seen as “value must be being taken from elsewhere” in a zero sum kind of way – we can only get richer by destroying the environment or society. I think it’s closely related to the fallacy that economic growth is going to find to a halt because we are going to run out of raw materials – whereas if you compare the physical quantities of raw materials in a 1970s computer vs a modern smart phone (and how much environmental damage would have been done to produce them) the picture is quite different.

  4. I saw “” and knew it would be so far off the bullshit scale it wouldn’t even be published in the grauniad.

  5. @Arthur the Cat April 11, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    Richard Murphy:”teapots should be designed with their handles the same side as their spouts.”

    Too old fashioned for MMT; he’d regulate teapots and insist lid must be on the bottom.

    @Bloke in Wales April 11, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    +1 “” = don’t read

  6. The lack of understanding of basic economics is astonishing even for someone writing for the Nonversation. So a landowner charging rent to tenants is “extracting” value, rather than just charging enough to enable the tenants to do what they want, farming, running Microsoft etc? This does expose the fallacy of valuing academia in the absence of that concept of value, doesn’t it?

  7. Off topic but if anyone wants cheering up, I can suggest the Assange arrest video.

    He looks like a demented Father Christmas who has just been arrested for shop lifting.

  8. Off topic 2. From the Gov website. WTF.

    The Teachers’ Pension Scheme is one of only eight guaranteed by the Government; provides additional benefits linked to salary; is inflation-proof to offer teachers a secure retirement; and offers the typical teacher around £7,000 in employer contributions every year.

    This makes the scheme one of the most generous schemes on offer – in comparison, Work Place Pension rules require private sector employers to pay a minimum 3% contribution to an employee’s pension, which is around £900 a year for someone earning the same salary as a typical teacher.

  9. It’s word salad. Devoid of meaning. Telling us we must submit.

    ‘Climate change, biodiversity loss and other environmental problems demand changes on an order of magnitude well beyond the trajectory of business-as-usual.’

    She demands changes. We tell her STFU. She says ‘climate change, biodiversity loss and other environmental problems,’ and we say, “Oh, okay, we will give up our prosperity.” Cos ‘climate change.’

    ‘Climate change’ – Still undefined after all these years.

    ‘The extractive and exploitative dynamics of capitalist economics generate economies locked into accelerating climate change, species extinction and other severe environmental and social problems.’

    The Stone Age wasn’t without its problems.

    ‘Climate change’ – Still undefined. How can the undefined accelerate?

    ‘Species extinction?’ Wut? She left out Sea Level Rise and Ocean Acidification, the other severe environmental problems. I suppose. All completely debunked. All invented to get us to submit.

    ‘Anthropocene’ – fake science to get us to submit.

    Social problems. Capitalism – free trade – causes severe social problems. I buy a loaf of bread from you, and it creates severe social problems.

    When all these ‘severe environmental problems’ fail to get us to submit, they will come up with new reasons why we must submit.

    They aren’t going to go away. It’s not about the environment; it’s about controlling the people of the world.

  10. The whole thing reads like it has been written by a random bullshit generator. The ‘unfographics’ are a laugh too.

    For example, the Iceberg Model depicts a feminist economic framework where non-market activities, including the unpaid labour that buttresses capitalist economics, are made explicit.

    Course it does love. Now run along and buttress me with a cuppa.

  11. @AndrewC

    Off topic but if anyone wants cheering up, I can suggest the Assange arrest video.

    He looks like a demented Father Christmas who has just been arrested for shop lifting

    Not bad, but this is still the best arrest video IMO
    Democracy Manifest

  12. “The lack of understanding of basic economics”
    The way Joanna puts it suggests its ok to skip that bit. We have such and such problems now. We can only possibly have these problems because the “system” that went before ignored them. That system is neoclasslibiral. It happened on its watch QED.
    The missing bit…is um.. no it didn’t ignore this stuff, in so far as these problems are problems they were were traded off for benefits, benefits which can’t be swiped left as merely ‘profit. huckh puh”.

  13. I hate to spend time analyzing such drivel. But I must point out that free trade (what Marx called capitalism) is the ABSENCE of a system.

    ‘How do we add value?’

    ADD LABOUR! Per Marx.

  14. Dennis the Peasant

    I am a Lecturer in Design at the Loughborough University whose work sits at the intersection of design, environmental studies and politics. My first book, Design/ Ecology/ Politics: Toward the Ecocene, was published in 2018.I completed an AHRC funded PhD on the visual communication of ecological literacy at the University of Brighton in 2012.

    You can’t make this shit up.

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