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Consumptionomics by Chandran Nair

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A different model

If we are to reject this economic view of the environment, we must question one of economics’ core assumptions – that markets take account of things that people value by giving them a price.

This is not what happens. Markets only price in things that have prices in the first place. And from the start, industrial capitalism has taken advantage of things that had no price but which it could use – above all the environment and ecological services. Historically this can be attributed to capitalism’s origins in Western Europe, in societies with abundant material resources but little skilled labour. Under such conditions, businesses were spurred on to develop technology that enhanced labour productivity, allowing fewer and fewer people ...

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