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Degrowth Thread

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby mousepad » Sat 19 Oct 2019, 15:57:49

Newfie wrote:As you point out companies are incentivized for growth. We all know fre paradigm is that we MUST have growth, infinite growth. We also know that infinite growth is impossible. So here we have a great opportunity to DEincentivize growth.


I'm no friend of growth at all. There a millions of possible options to discourage growth. But the majority of people SCREAM growth from the top of their lungs. First we need to change a world view. Which ain't easy.

Another question, does buying back shares count as a tax shelter?

That I don't know. Maybe Cog can chime in?
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 19 Oct 2019, 18:39:08

Yes, we have had “GROWTH” pushed down our throats so long we just accept it. O matter that it makes no sense whatsoever. I think that learning opportunity will leave a mark.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 19 Oct 2019, 21:16:09

mousepad wrote:All those holes you're talking about have been plugged. It is extremely difficult to do tax evasion in the US.



Your incredibly naive. My knowledge is not from the 80's. I still have many contacts in CH, I know many US expats in Panama.

What you did say that is correct is that any bank in Switzerland and most former tax haven countries with direct US citizen clients do have to report the data to the IRS. That alone does not make it extremely difficult to do tax evasion if you are a wealthy US citizen.
Last edited by Ibon on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 21:46:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 19 Oct 2019, 21:25:07

mousepad wrote:
Shame on you. Not for being a rich man. But shame on you for being a rich man while paying your 3rd world worker $15/day. Why don't you pay 1st world salary to workers you use to sell vacations to 1st world clients at 1st world prices?


Smart phones are available in Panama for as cheap as $40. Cell phone service providers (Mas Movil, Movistar, Claro) offer phone cards and serve customers who earn only $ 15 dollars a day. I buy the phone cards for my staff so I know exactly how much they pay each month to keep in touch using Whatsapp with their friends and family. Their average cost per month using phone cards is about $8 This is 3G or even 4G technology with microwave towers on ridge tops with almost full coverage nation wide.

To your comment here is what I have to say. Shame on Verizon and AT&T and all the other cell phone providers in the US for fucking over their US customers charging monthly phone/data plans sometimes as much as $ 150 getting about the same service that our cowboy staff at mount Totumas have paying $8 a month!

So who is exploiting who?
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 22 Oct 2019, 14:09:22

I’m importing some stuff to Grenada, it’s for the boat so some special customs paper work is required. They have a local office in the marina.

Posted sign says open 8:00am - 12 noon Tues and Thurs.

I show up at 8:30, chill till 9:00, go back at 10:00 and they are there. Guy tells me I need some stuff in duplicate so I go pro got out. Get back at 11:00ish.

The paperwork is in order, receipts printed out, in order, with “item #” on the arch item that tallies with spreadsheet index I give him.

Now the guy is fooling with some grade school homework papers. About 4th grade from the looks of the writing and form. He is nearly drawing hearts with a stencil on each sheet and then coloring the hearts with red crayon. He is most definitely staying within the lines.

He does not seem to understand the concept of the spreadsheet, takes the two copies of receipts and reorders them in reverse pulling some sheets out of set one and some out of set 2. He goes through the sets a few times more and starts asking some questions. “What is Velcro?” Kinda stumps me. How do you describe Velcro to someone who doesn’t know what it is?

He is a young guy, very nice and polite, heavy local accented English, and a very flat affect, I.e. zip personality. Extremely hard to read. His uniform is impeccable. This is typical because he has something very few folks here have, a regular job, which already makes him one of the elite in this situation. They are very proud of having a “job.” The girls that pump your gas have green and white uniforms. The girls at the bigger supermarket have red jump suit uniforms. I noticed one guy at the airport, his shirt had down in crease lines, to get that “sharp” look. And a dress policeman is resplendent.

So I need to get one more recipes and say “I’ll be back in 5.” At this the senior customs officer snaps awake and says “We close in 5 minutes, at 12:00 noon.” OK then I’ll just leave this paper work here with you and see you Thursday morning? Sure, fine. And so it goes.

Now come in here and start paying the guy in the yard USA wages and you upset the entire Apple cart. The whole social order becomes unstable, folks don’t know where they belong. Some get uppity, some envious, some jealous, some angry, some revengeful.

And YOU are the idiot who screwed it all up. Now everyone is mad at you, not the least of all the other gringos with boats in the yard who now get death stares for not paying USA wages.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 22 Oct 2019, 14:14:05

To look at this in a positive way, one of the major problems with have with our consumptive culture is to endlessly strive for more, to never enjoy good enough. Down here a lot have a little material but most have a lot of emotional happiness. They fit into their culture, and don’t generally break their back. Stuff gets done, sorta, sooner or later. And they don’t need USA wages because they have a very frugal life style. No heat, no AC, no window, makes for cheap houses, and many are very nice houses.

In general they do not let “perfect” become the enemy of “good enough”. Drives gringos like me bat shit crazy, until we learn to relax a bit also.

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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Tue 22 Oct 2019, 14:45:21

Something to ponder.... in a country where your average wage is only $ 15 dollars a day then car ownership is around 10% of the population.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 22 Oct 2019, 16:07:30

Because mankind can circumvent evolutionary law, it is incumbent upon him, say evolutionary biologists, to develop another law to abide by if he wishes to survive, to not outstrip his food base. He must learn restraint.


Quote out of “Arctic Dreams”.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D668HB4/re ... TF8&btkr=1
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Tue 22 Oct 2019, 17:02:40

Newfie wrote:
Because mankind can circumvent evolutionary law, it is incumbent upon him, say evolutionary biologists, to develop another law to abide by if he wishes to survive, to not outstrip his food base. He must learn restraint.


Quote out of “Arctic Dreams”.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D668HB4/re ... TF8&btkr=1



I read that book years and years ago and Barry Lopez, John Muir, Farley Mowat, John McGee, even Jack London and many many others were mentors, wise elders of wilderness experiences whose world views framed my world views. This quote Newfie is classic and forms a guiding principal that helps shape positions like Nature bats last, The Overshoot Predator, the idea that ecological consequences will one day put up the physical barriers to stop us from exploiting and circumventing ecological principals but more importantly create the foundation out of which we very well may develop ethical and environmental commandments around consumption and breeding. The alternative is simply suffering the wrath of environmental chaos.

This is a process that will take centuries and this line from Barry Lopez and similar quotes will filter through and one day be pulled up from history as evidence that we weren't all completely insane.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 29 Oct 2019, 19:28:33


Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at https://www.ft.com/tour.
https://www.ft.com/content/47b0917c-f52 ... 9acae3b654

If green growth doesn’t exist, the only way to prevent climate catastrophe is “degrowth” now, not in 2050: stop most flying, meat-eating and clothes-buying until we have green alternatives, ban privately owned cars and abandon sprawling suburbs. A long economic depression might be enough to keep the planet habitable. We’d also need to divert money from consumption to building green infrastructure. This is essentially Greta Thunberg’s argument.

But that would put us in a new world. Economic growth, democracy and CO2 have always been intertwined. Growth and democracy barely existed until coal fuelled the industrial revolution. Can democracy survive without carbon?

We are not going to find out. No electorate will vote to decimate its own lifestyle. We can’t blame bad politicians or corporates. It’s us: we will always choose growth over climate.


https://www.ft.com/content/47b0917c-f52 ... 9acae3b654
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 10 Nov 2019, 10:16:13

FIRE
Financially
Independent
Retire
Early

Good advice from the Fool

https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/11/ ... etire.aspx

Those simple things would do more climate change, resource depletion, and controlling the elites than any D candidate.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 10 Nov 2019, 11:11:45

Newfie wrote:FIRE
Financially
Independent
Retire
Early

Good advice from the Fool

https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/11/ ... etire.aspx

Those simple things would do more climate change, resource depletion, and controlling the elites than any D candidate.


Just visited my daughter in the Bay area. One of her room mates is a guy who works in IT as a programmer. He earns about $150k per year. He lives like a monk. My daughter said he works, comes home, eats the same meal of boiled cabbage and chicken almost every day, his only recreational expense is practicing on the climbing wall in a gym nearby. He does not own a car, obviously not a mortgage, has no debt and he told me he plans on retiring by 40.

He will succeed in his plans.

He is a millennial.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 10 Nov 2019, 14:49:26

Newfie wrote:“degrowth” now, not in 2050: stop most flying, meat-eating and clothes-buying until we have green alternatives, ban privately owned cars and abandon sprawling suburbs.

Just ponder the logistics of doing any of that over decades much less "Now"What do you do with the populations now living in the suburbs that you have just set on foot?
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 10 Nov 2019, 17:51:41

VT,

You are right, it’s a problem, no doubt. Never said the down side would be easy. We are just trying to negotiate the least bad decisions.

Fact is there are no longer any easy decisions.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Mon 11 Nov 2019, 05:51:45

Newfie wrote: We are just trying to negotiate the least bad decisions.

Fact is there are no longer any easy decisions.


.
Years ago we discussed on this site the term “asset inertia” regarding the dependency on fossil fuels and how the vast system of refineries, pipelines, roads, automobiles, plastics, fertilizers, gas stations, etc, all created this asset inertia that made any short term changes impossible. So many assets already built and invested and embedded in the economy acts as an inertia that drags against any rapid change.

I think this term asset inertia is very relevant around the concept of degrowth. All the jobs that support growth and consumption, all the infrastructure and distribution that makes it all happen and how this supports the bulk of 7 billion humans. In 1960 we were 3 billion humans. Today almost 8 billion and in those 50 years the economic system based on consumption and growth has only embedded itself deeper into global culture. To simply unwind this in the short term in any planned way is made almost impossible. There is both a cultural inertia and the physical inertia acting as a drag against any changes.

The one bright spot I see is that a segment of the emerging generation seems to be rejecting this consumption culture. More ascetic values. This goes along with having less discretionary money to spend. Both seem to be complimenting each other. Less wealth to spend but also less interest in consumption. I see this at least in the peer group of my children. I don’t know how representative they are though.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 11 Nov 2019, 05:58:17

“Asset inertia”, don’t recall the conversation but makes a lot of sense.

As to the new generation, maybe. I’m not seeing it but I live a disconnected life style.
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