Quick links to a few items I found interesting.
Professor Tom Murphy, my colleague in the Physics Department here at UCSD, relays an interesting conversation between a physicist and an economist on the limits to growth. Here’s an excerpt:
Physicist: At that 2.3% growth rate, we would be using energy at a rate corresponding to the total solar input striking Earth in a little over 400 years. We would consume something comparable to the entire sun in 1400 years from now. By 2500 years, we would use energy at the rate of the entire Milky Way galaxy– 100 billion stars! I think you can see the absurdity of continued energy growth. 2500 years is not that long, from a historical perspective. We know what we were doing 2500 years ago. I think I know what we’re not going to be doing 2500 years hence.
Bill McBride, with whom one is wise not to disagree, has this take-away from recent evidence on labor force participation:
This suggests that any bounceback in the participation rate as the economy recovers will probably be fairly small, and the number of jobs needed to hold the unemployment rate steady is probably closer to 100 thousand per month than the frequently reported 150+ thousand per month.
Liberty Street Economics discusses resentment of New York’s wealthiest 1% in 1765.
Some Individuals of our Countrymen, by the Smiles of Providence or some other Means, are enabled to roll in their four–wheel’d Carriages, and can support the Expence of good Houses, rich Furniture, and Luxurious Living. But, is it equitable that 99, or rather 999 should suffer for the Extravagance or Grandeur of one? Especially when it is consider’d, that Men frequently owe their Wealth to the Impoverishment of their Neighbours.
Golden State Outlook has an interesting map summarizing how long it’s been since real house prices were as low as they are today for different California counties.
The Environmental Defense Fund raises the issue of methane leakage associated with natural gas production.