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Deep Economy A Review by Wayne Hayes 11/18/2014 V. 2.0 | Build #11 by Bill McKibben.

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Presentation on theme: "Deep Economy A Review by Wayne Hayes 11/18/2014 V. 2.0 | Build #11 by Bill McKibben."— Presentation transcript:

1 Deep Economy A Review by Wayne Hayes 11/18/2014 V. 2.0 | Build #11 by Bill McKibben

2 Deep Economy by Bill McKibben Source: Deep Economy web siteDeep Economy web site 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes2

3 Purpose The intent of this presentation is to guide the student through Deep Economy by Bill McKibben. The author brings a subtle design to the book. Try to grasp his messages. He starts with a vigorous critique of economic growth and moves to localism and civil society organizations as an alternative to economic globalization. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes3

4 These themes build an eco-economy. 1.Questioning growth derived from exports 2.Development > growth: Do better with less. 3.Promoting local economies around diversity and within Nature. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes4

5 Notice the Anthropocene and the Age of Accelertion. Chapter 1, After Growth, begins with the steam engine and the invention of the idea of economic growth in the late 18 th century, which we know as the Anthropocene. McKibben introduces the equivalent of the Age of Acceleration after World War II on page 7. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes5

6 TINA and its antidotes soon follow. There is No Alternative (or TINA) was the prevailing “empire of the mind” (p. 9, 10). The response cited included Limits to Growth and Small is Beautiful. McKibben summarizes his response on pages 11 and 12. Also see pages 35, 38, and 41. We will discuss in class. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes6

7 Not everyone is happy with the economy. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes7

8 Not everybody approves of capitalism, either. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes8 Source: Capitalism’s Waning Popularity, Economist, 4/7/2011

9 Nor is everyone optimistic about their future. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes9 Pew Research Global Attitudes Project, October 9, 2014

10 McKibben offers a short course in ecological economics. McKibben assails the macro-economics of growth. Don’t confuse Gross Domestic Product with well-being. He notes the side-effects not counted in market transactions, the externalities. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes10

11 Context: Cosmopolitan Localism To think of Bill McKibben as parochial because he eats locally, as in chapter two, would miss his point. He starts in Vermont, but ends up in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, and China. He goes global with the simple lessons of local economies. He brings to life many of the themes that combine ecology, economics, community, and ethics. That is what you should take away here. Remember the quote from Wendell Berry that explained that the work of sustainability is small and humble. McKibben demonstrates that point --- and dedicates this unpretentious book to his friend, Wendell Berry. work of sustainability is small and humble McKibben claims that community and localization provide the antidote to economic growth based on globalization. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes11

12 Context of Deep Economy 1.Questioning the systemic imperative to growth is fundamental to World Sustainability. We have questioned economic growth and identified much of the global crisis on the dynamics of growth. The Limits to Growth implicitly provides an underlying alternative paradigm. 2.More is not always Better, a pivot basic to Deep Economy. We must distinguish between qualitative development and physical growth, a basic tenet of the economics underlying sustainability. 3.McKibben will artfully connect the global with the local and the Global North with the Global South. He will argue strongly for decentralized economic activity within a durable economy. McKibben does not use the term, but this is all about world sustainability. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes12

13 Economic Alchemy "How can the economy be harnessed to serve sustainability? What makes this question so ironic is that the growth in the physical scale of the economy under the prevailing regime of economic globalization has depleted resources, destroyed ecosystems, overwhelmed natural waste disposal sinks, waged war on subsistence cultures, and produced shocking maldistribution of wealth and income. How, then, can the economy be turned around to reinforce sustainable development rather than to destroy ecosystems, resource endowments, and indigenous cultures? This alchemy must be resolved to promote sustainability." 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes13

14 Economic Alchemy (continued) McKibben contributes toward that alchemy. He challenges head- on the consensus around and the ideology of economic growth, the mantra of economic globalization. He charts another path, one based on local economies and community. Only by getting through the book to its conclusions can the reader appreciate the vision and the deeper analysis that lies hidden by McKibben in this engaging book. Keep an open mind and make the vital connections.

15 Questioning growth McKibben offers three objections to the standard economistic treatment of growth, all of which should be familiar to you: 1.The alleged gains of growth (to the extent that they really exist) not only go to the elites but fail to benefit the majority. This raises questions of inequality and of insecurity. 2.The ecological limits to growth are mounting: resources are being depleted, sinks are overwhelmed (e.g., CO2), and carrying capacity exceeded. This defines the condition of overshoot. 3.Significantly, economic wealth does not produce happiness or fulfillment -- growth is overrated on its own terms: "growth is no longer making us happy" (1). This assertion is basic to Deep Economy and should be essential to what you take away from this book. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes15


17 Themes in Deep Economy Note some of the contrasts implied in the book: From globalization to localization (but with markets) From mass society, mass production, mass consumption to local communities within bio-regions at an appropriate scale From hyper-individualism to cosmopolitan civic engagement From exclusive emphasis on private property to what is shared, the commons From political exclusivity to inclusivity around direct democracy, such as town meetings From high levels of externalities to low social costs through community involvement that negotiates big decisions From export maximization to a diverse local and regional economy that directly serves the local population. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes17

18 Listen to Bill McKibben Bill McKibben 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes18

19 Discuss: The lessons from Deep Economy can be liberating. McKibben observes that "greater wealth no longer makes us happier" (2). You can lead a satisfying and meaningful life without coveting riches. You can live well and lead a life of consequence. This essential insight opens up opportunities and possibilities. Ask yourself: How does this insight affect me? Let’s pause to talk about this insight. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes19

20 Ch. 1: After Growth: main points 1.Growth is a historical invention made possible by coal and other fossil fuels that we associate with the Industrial Revolution. We know this as the Anthropocene. Growth is enshrined in the West, particularly the USA. (Actually it is the law: The Employment Act of 1945 -- no depressions, please.The principle of economic globalization was embedded in the Bretton Woods agreement.)Bretton Woods agreement 2.Read carefully the empirical case made on pages 11 and 12. 3.Contrast the positions of these two economists, Larry Summers (26) and Bob Costanza (27), on how to understand growth. 4.McKibben goes international in making his case, pp. 34-42. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes20

21 Ch. 2: The Year of Eating Locally Bill McKibben tells his story of eating local produce for a year in his home state, Vermont. Along the way, he critiques the food and agriculture industries. He learns much from the experience. He makes a subtle point: You, too, can change your life for the better by producing some of your own food, eating locally, and eating smart. Makes sense for the Garden State. Think about it. McKibben makes food the basis of re-building the economy and the culture around localism. He enriches our sense of place. Give attention to his conclusion, p. 94. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes21

22 Images of the Intervale CSA, Burlington, VT 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes22

23 Intervale, CSA 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes23

24 Calkin family farm 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes24

25 Food Day 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes25

26 Community Supported Agriculture 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes26

27 Food Depot at Intervale CSA 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes27

28 Inside Food Depot 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes28

29 The economic model: 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes29

30 Ch. 3: All for One, or One for All Again speaking as a Vermonter, McKibben critiques the erosion of the valued and unique character of local culture. This contrasts with his story on eating locally. He offers data to make the case of the fragmentation and the dysfunctionality of hyper-individualism, pp. 101-104. McKibben’s message is simply one of caring and sharing around community. This is basic to promoting sustainability --- from the ground up, from local roots. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes30

31 The remedy: community, conviviality and companionship Contrast the farmers' market or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for community-building. McKibben urges that we turn to the local for a richer community life and culture that complement nurturing the local economy. Too much stuff and not enough companionship, says McKibben. Shift the emphasis from being a consumer to being a citizen. Participate. Lead an active, engaged life. This is best done where you live and work. Connect. Start today. McKibben bases this chapter on the work of Richard Layard, an economist, and his research in his book, Happiness. See pages 108- 112. Heed his conclusion, page 128. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes31

32 Ch. 4: The Wealth of Communities McKibben uses the examples of Clear Channel and Walmart to illustrate how communities are eclipsed, with tangible losses that are not easy to quantify. His remedy, again, is the restoration of community through re- building local economic activities and institutions. He speaks again as a loyal and patriotic Vermonter. He cites the New England town meeting and the intermediate level of scale between the individual and the community. Scale and localism resonate throughout this chapter. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes32

33 Ch. 5: Durable Future McKibben goes cosmopolitan here, taking us all the way from Vermont to China. (What he sees is consistent with and often informed by Lester Brown.) Some points to consider: 1.Every year, 30 million people leave the rural areas and migrate to over-crowded cities. 2.Water has become the limit of the carrying capacity to support growth. Soil is, as well. 3.Every year, China adds the equivalent of the population of California to its energy generating capacity --- mostly by burning coal. (We will see later in our course that this is changing. 4.China devotes 10% of GDP to deal with the environmental side- effects of economic growth and to public health. 5.Since 2005, China has been a net importer of grain. McKibben asks on page 187: "how on earth do you grow at the rate the Chinese are growing and don't collapse?" 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes33

34 Dasgupta: Wealth as Liquidation McKibben quotes from the research of Sir Partha Dasgupta, a University of Cambridge economist, that wealth in developing countries actually declines with economic growth throughout the world, page 190. China is the only exception. Dasgupta's research goes from 1965-1993, capturing the heyday of the economic growth of the Washington Consensus. This dramatic point illustrates the failure of the orthodox economistic growth model. Of course, inequality increases sharply with economic growth, p 195. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes34

35 Other cases McKibben quickly reviews other cases in which economic globalization backfires: Mexico: corn; Uganda: coffee; Iraq: seeds. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes35

36 Deep Economy is Locally Rooted McKibben draws again on his experience as a citizen of the world. His case study of success is found in the Nayakrishi Andolan (New Farming) movement in Gorasin, Bangladesh. His report, pages 200-206, culminates with a telling example of local knowledge used to increase productivity with eco-ecological means. Technically this community-based subsistence project reduces GDP, since the food and restoration is not produced for the market. (No wonder it's called gross economic product!) 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes36

37 China: Heifer International McKibben provides another success story, pages 207-210. This comes from Sichuan province in China, where the NGO Heifer International donated rabbits and technical advice. The results are stunning. His take-away lesson: "It's that there are ways to make workable economies out of almost anything, if you think small and work through communities" (207). McKibben calls this "the key task of our time" (210). 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes37

38 Future Generations McKibben's next case is Future Generations and its development expert, Daniel Taylor, from West Virginia. Taylor advocates not investing money, but mobilizing and investing available human time and energy through a community-designed work plan. The case study, pages 211-216, occurs in Afghanistan, certainly a contested and geopolitically significant country, and in Himalya, India. He follows up with Kerala, India, pages 218-221. McKibben concludes with a contrast of the economic model of the USA versus that of Europe, one worthy of some consideration, especially as we struggle through our epic recession today. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes38

39 Happiness Index 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes39

40 Afterword The concluding chapter begins with some of the themes found earlier in our course in Brown, Plan B 4.0: 1.Peak oil; 2.Global warming: McKibben's earlier Death of Nature was a harbinger; 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes40

41 Conclusion The book modestly ends with the essential alchemy, the inversion within the economy: "Local economies can play an important role in reducing these (peak oil and global warming) problems." McKibben tells us that the path to a durable economy can be sweet and add joy and fulfillment to our lives. It threatens and risks little. He has addressed the systemic faults of economic growth: ecocide, inequality and insecurity, and unhappiness. Small wonder why he dedicates this insightful little book to Wendell Berry. 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes41

42 What makes you happy? 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes42

43 Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes43

44 So what do you think? Does McKibben work for you? What did you get from Deep Economy? 4/26/2015Professor Wayne Hayes44

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