[lbo-talk] The Planet is Fine (Carrol Cox)

Barry Brooks durable at earthlink.net
Sat Dec 17 22:24:08 PST 2011


> I don't follow you. "Stock" as used here is meaningless except in
> terms of capitalist relations. People live on what they consume
> today. (E.g., in a blizzard at 10 below one's survival depends on
> 'consuming' rather warm clothing outside and some kind of heat
> production inside.) So what exactly are you talking about.

Herman Daly's book, "Steady State Economics" explains the difference. Perishable items are consumed upon use. Durable items hang around for a while and amount to a stock, an inventory, of items in use.

Although nothing lasts forever, and durable items must finally be replaced, it's important to not confuse consumption with use, because we can avoid hyper-consumption and support vast wealth using increased durability to have more while consuming much less... at least for items that are not consumed at first use. Trying to consume durables rapidly to be busy makes the accumulation of (a stock of) wealth very elusive.


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