The quotes on the “dismal science” of economics by early theorists, Adam Smith and Thomas Malthus, are relevant today. Thus far, Smith’s vision leads in the debate. Malthus’s prediction has been headed off, somewhat, as new technologies have increased our capacity to support increased populations. The powers of the marketplace rode supreme in both Eastern andWestern Europe as Marx was buried a second time, and it continues to do so, however imperfect it is. Energy markets have had dramatic failures in such things as the lack of progress on energy-efficient cars and household appliances, until regulations were introduced. Smith’s hidden hand corrects inefficiencies, but consumers can be apathetic when casually purchasing energy technologies. Hopefully, Malthus’s frightening theory can be buried along side Marx, but long-term questions on Earth’s sustainability persist when seen against a backdrop of increasing global consumption.
KeywordsInterest Rate Discount Rate Demand Elasticity Payback Period Supply Elasticity
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