* To establish feasibility, it is necessary to include some items in the energy invested term that are normally not thought of as investments. For example, the cost of sequestering such carbon dioxide as will be produced by the energy technology under investigation should be added to the energy invested term because feasibility requires that our society be sustainable (until astronomical events intervene). In this thought experiment, the support of an alternative energy technology would be the sole concern of every citizen.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Not all planned economies are the same.

We need to discuss central versus distributed planning - and fractal planning, whatever that is. Also, there is syndicalism and the out-sourcing of the fractal government's responsibilities to a  private collective of professional planners who can be fired and/or replaced.  Planned economies do not preclude private enterprise; that is, your collective of planners is completely independent of my collective of planners and each of us is free to bid for the honor of activation.  The point is that there are many ways to skin that cat and we should continue to imagine more ways. Just because something has never been done correctly in the past should not deter us from doing better.  

Also, I need to convince myself that distributed economic planning (or economic planning by consumer) can be done without corruption and without the expenditure of appreciable energy*.  Suppose, for example, that the economic planning for an eco-region could be accomplished by 20 scientific planners with a rather large computer.  I wonder how many employees the Bureau of Economic Analysis in Washington has.  That would be a tip-off because, in reality, an economic plan is always in place.  Read the description of consumer planning in http://dematerialism.net/wiki.htm#consumer_planning .

* The Bureau of Economic Analysis has 606 full-time employees, 565 full-time equivalent employees, and a budget of about $100 million.


  1. Planned economies suffer from two fundaments constraints.

    1) those planning cannot fully, ever, understand all the complexities and chaos of the system, and hence will make poor planning policies and implementations which will have a high possibility of failing. That’s what the past has shown.
    2) People get corrupted, period. There is no way to stop that except to have a high degree of competition between people. That can only be achieved if every person thinks someone is going to do better than them and expose any corruption. Even with the checks and balances we have, we still see corruption, big time. However, in planned economies corruption is far more wide spread and less likely to be exposed. In planned economies, such people of power have ways of dealing with those who challenge them. That too was taught to us from history.

    It comes down to what is the roll of government. To be the be all and end all for all society? Provide cradle to grave support? Or be a referee and rule maker and let the people decide whats best through competition?

    A planned economy means the government doesn’t trust people to do whats right for society to advance society. A pure capitalist is the opposite, the government trusts people to do whats best over all.

    Sure shit happens, markets crash, people lose jobs. But a planned economy cannot stop that. It may attempt to alter those events, but in reality it is just kicking the can down the road. This is exactly what is happening in the EU and the US. The EU has had a planned economy for decades and is now collapsing because of gross government overspending. The US is now following their lead. What planned economies will eventually achieve is a pure capitalist economy because planned economies will crash harder and further resulting in government collapse and people fending for them selves, exactly what happened when the USSR collapsed.


  2. With Aristotelian pure democratic fractal demarchy, the only element in the government that has any power whatever is the people. http://dematerialism.wikispaces.com/ So, the government not only trusts the people who incidentally are doing the economic planning themselves according to their preferences; but, the government IS the people. Another comment on another Peak Oil website suggested that there are many combinations of government and economy that might mitigate the effects of Peak Oil.

    1. Humans, when pressed, generally find ways. I used to think peak oil was a cliff. I dont any more. Im thinking it will be a long seesaw down in productivity and living standards. It will also be highly uneven. Those who will get the brunt will be countries that are importers of oil but currently highly indebted. They will get to the point where they wont be able to outbid other countries for oil. So peak oil will affect places like the EU first (its already happening). Lower GDP will mean less fuel consumed. The public will have to do without (already happening in the EU, and the former USSR is still going through it but not as bad as after their collapse.)

      The US may be in a different position with Canada's oil supply. Innovation will produce oil from what wasnt possible before. It will be expensive, it will have a low ERoRE, but it will be done. That will reduce the impact on peak oil in the US for a long time, beyond my lifetime.

      Natural gas is another matter. Fracking will eventually founder. I actually describe how in one of the last chapters of my second book. Two key principles will affect that: The Energy Trap and The Red Queen.

      The economic collapse I think is now the great near term threat, precipitated by expensive energy costs (and not just from FF, but also from alternatives).

      Governments wont be able to deal with this aftermath. They simply wont have the funds to do much.