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February 21, 2023


Zoltan Jorovic

Prosperity is largely a product of the difference between available energy and the cost of producing that energy. Where we have a prolific and cheap source, such as oil was, which requires little energy to extract and make available, prosperity increases. When the energy cost of extracting it starts to erode the energy available once this has happened, prosperity declines. Technology and capital are to a large extent dependent on this surplus energy to deliver their results.

We are now facing a decline in surplus energy (as fossil fuels are either more costly to extract, or cannot be used at all because of the negative effects of going beyond acceptable CO2 limits) which will increasingly impact on prosperity. Unfortunately, few economists recognise or understand the essential role of energy in the economy. Our Technology, Capital, Institutions and Culture have been built upon cheap, easily available surplus energy. That age is ending.


《Amazon is an excellent at delivering goods》

Why can't Amazon pick up old boxes as it delivers new?

《they create wealth by being good businesses, not simply by buying capital and labour power.》

Do they create scarcity by enforcing contracts that enclose formerly-free intellectual property?

《They are, as Adair Turner said, socially useless.》

What if they can be harmless nonviolent distractions? What if the social utility is that offensive ppl stay away from doing real harm by playing with fictitious goods in virtual marketplaces?

《If Labour is serious about boosting trend growth - and it should be》

Why should I want growth when growth has taken away the freedom to sleep outside for free, which I value highly?

《A shift from taxing profits to taxing land would be anti businesses that own commercial property but would perhaps incentivize productive capital spending.》

What if it incentivizes more Real Estate Investment Trusts and the like which profit from land without having to pay land taxes?

《Labour should be [...] 》

In the real world, doesn't the Left always end up prioritizing things that end up adversely impacting poor old me, so why should I vote for them when they ignore and often censor my voice?

《a knowledge of how to do clever things with FINANCIAL assets that other companies ARE IGNORANT OF》

Can I fix our blogger's final sentence for him?


This blog post is based entirely on a confusion between businesses and business owners, between the firm as an organization and the corporate company that owns the firm and to which the firm delivers its profits.

Politicians representing right-wing interests, just like Reeves, love that confusion, and when they say that they are "pro business" they actually mean that they are "pro business-owners". But the two things are not to be confused.

Adam Smith made the case that greed is a powerful force, and personal ownership of businesses often channels the power of greed into those businesses.

But that does not result necessarily in improving those businesses, because that channelled greed can be satisfied by adopting in those businesses unproductive or often counterproductive ways.


«Prosperity is largely a product of the difference between available energy and the cost of producing that energy»

For those interested, the usual short, clear paper:


A related anecdote relating to the UK:



...hierarchy, unfreedom, bullshit jobs and bullshit language.

What's wrong with hierarchy? Maybe there is, but it should be explained (facts, values, Weber and all that).
Unfreedom is an equivocal term.
Bullshit jobs. As opposed to ONG and civil servants jobs?
Bullshit language. Well, it seems that the business world is finding no problem in using today's mainstream terms, wich, since coming from the supposedly radical ideologies in fashion, are obviously bullshit.


central bankers are really just maintaining a dirty peg to the US dollar – an informal Bretton Woods – and then post-hoc justifying their decisions to follow the crowd.

They appear scared to death of ‘imported inflation’.

There doesn’t appear to be any independent monetary policy outside of Japan.

Jan Wiklund

But isn't it more in it than some businesses underperforming? I thought that the North Atlantic economies apparently open-eyed favour firms that earn their money from owning rather than producing, socalled tollbooth capitalism. According to Brett Christophers there are many ways of doing that - land, government contracts, finance, platforms, patents and copyrights etc, see https://www.versobooks.com/books/4030-rentier-capitalism.

Which seems to be inherent of capitalism. As different historians as Charles Kindleberger, Bas van Bavel, George Modelsky and William Thompson seem to argue that a flowering capitalism can't survive more than the usual three-four generations until capitalists get tired and prefer living off their property. And so has it been since the time of Harun ar-Rashid.

Sometimes, to be sure, a reform movement can postpone decline some 50 years. But for that to be, the leading classes must feel a kind of existential threat, as they did in 1944 when the Bretton Woods program succeeded to create a productive capitalist again.

But now?

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