BERLIN 5 MARCH 2015: As an extra attraction at the 2nd European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC2), The Swedish Sustainable Economy Foundation (TSSEF.SE) presented a shortened version of its simulation of divided-bearing pollutant fee mechanism. The simulation, which is played as a business game scenario, pits a government charged with reducing emissions of phosphorus against food producers and property owners who are charged with following regulations and keeping profits up.
The aim of the simulation is to bring participants up close to the myriad of factors – from technical and legal to emotional – surrounding putting a price on pollution. The simulation is aimed at giving participants an idea of how Environmental Fiscal Reform (EFR) works. The simulation highlights the dividend-bearing pollutant mechanism created by TSSEF. Basically a surcharge is levied as high up in the supply chain as possible on potential pollutants. (Pollutants are also useful substances, just in the wrong form and the wrong place.) Essential to understanding the levy is that it is paid back to taxpayers – to ensure that consumers retain spending power. Download the poster here. Read More…
Banks can play an important role in driving prosperity. Making money on asset-flipping doesn’t do it.
Professor Werner calls on Universities to look more into the role of local banks and the role of banks in general in the economy.
In this speech from MOTALA in Sweden Professor Werner explains the problem of large banks only investing in buying and selling assets, instead of investing in the local community in productive projects that create jobs.
An article newly published in the New Statesman points out something that is clear to economists: a national economy is not the same as a household economy. Politicians of all persuasions seem to be getting that badly wrong.
Politicians can cause problems by inferring that the nation must pay its debts like any well-run household because it just doesn’t work like that. Nations, unlike households, have a money-printing machine in the basement.
The article cites and incident of British Prime Minister David Cameron trying to use the “handbag” routine:
In 2011, Cameron had to hastily rewrite a speech stating that “the only way out of a debt crisis is to deal with your debts. That means households – all of us – paying off the credit card and store card bills” after economists pointed out that this would massively exacerbate a recession fuelled by lack of demand.
The idea that a nation’s books must balance is counter-intuitive. Yet when it comes to the environmental books, the need to have a healthy flow of nutrients in the economy without degrading land and depleting resources, this seems to be accepted as some kind of necessary evil.
It is as if the Prime Minister want the money system to have its books balanced whilst the environment (and poverty) is a tool to achieve that .
The opposite is the ideal: balancing the environmental and social books, and the money system is one tool to ensure that. If the money books don’t balance so what? They aren’t even meant to. You cannot say the same for nature.
This video explains the monetary system in simple terms. It demonstrates how to use points in the system to control its overall functioning. It shows how it is possible, applying the principles of control and feedback the way control engineering steers physical machines, to ensure that the economy runs clean and provides for citizens at the same time.
Environmental Fiscal Reform