I Want Sustainability (which is why I support free markets)

by Don Boudreaux on April 26, 2011

in Complexity & Emergence, Curious Task, Environment, Myths and Fallacies

I recall hearing Bill Clinton, I believe during the 1992 presidential campaign, promise to rein in “wasteful spending.”  Of course.  Everyone – even the most glossy-eyed Keynesian-socialist-welfare-statist ‘Progressive’ – wants to rein in spending that is wasteful.

Politicians (of all parties and persuasions), pundits, ordinary men and women in their everyday conversations, slip too easily into platitudes and into the habit of using words that smuggle in conclusions wrapped in blankets of presumptions.  As a result, conversation is made more difficult.

No word currently in vogue among Very Smart and Oh-So-Concerned People smuggles in more mistaken presumptions wrapped in a sentiment that no one in his or her right mind can disagree with than “sustainability.”

Who wants the earth and the economy to be on an unsustainable path?  A few sociopaths, perhaps.  But only a few.

David Friedman has been having some good and educational fun with “sustainability” advocates, as EconLog’s David Henderson highlights.  Check out also these links to several useful exposés of the ‘sustainability’ confusion.


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