Conventional Economics Is A Form of Brain Damage

Is our pursuit of economic growth blinding us to ecological disaster? Discover how conventional economics could be leading us astray with David Suzuki.

In the thought-provoking video “Conventional Economics Is A Form of Brain Damage,” narrated by renowned environmentalist David Suzuki, the critical flaws of conventional economic thinking are laid bare. Suzuki challenges the fundamental principles of modern economics, highlighting its disconnection from the real world and its destructive impact on the environment. The video begins with a powerful critique of the way conventional economics values short-term profit over long-term sustainability, exemplified by practices like clear-cutting forests for immediate financial gain, regardless of the environmental cost.

Suzuki argues that conventional economics is not a science but a system of values cloaked in mathematical equations, failing to account for essential elements such as the ozone layer, underground aquifers, topsoil, and biodiversity. He points out the absurdity of labeling these critical components of our planet as “externalities,” showing how this approach is fundamentally disconnected from the realities of our world. The video emphasizes that nature provides invaluable services – from water filtration and soil creation to plant fertilization – services that are ignored or undervalued in economic calculations.

Concluding with a powerful message, Suzuki urges a reevaluation of what constitutes the true “bottom line.” He envisions a future where humanity recognizes the real value of the natural world, understanding that economic systems should serve not just short-term human needs but the long-term health of the planet. This video serves as a wake-up call, challenging viewers to reconsider our current economic paradigms and to envision a world where the economy exists in harmony with nature’s intricate and vital systems.

The economists say, “If you clear-cut the forest, take the money, and put it in the bank, you can make 6%or 7%. If you clear-cut the forest, put it into Malaysia or Papua New Guinea, you can make 30% or 40%. So who cares whether you keep the forest? Cut it down. Put the money somewhere else. When those forests are gone, put it in fish. When the fish are gone, put it in computers. Money doesn’t stand for anything, and money now grown faster than the real world.”

Conventional economics is a form of brain damage. Economics is so fundamentally disconnected from the real world, it is destructive. If you take an introductory course in economics, the professor in the first lecture will show a slide of the economy. It looks very impressive. Raw materials, extraction process, manufacturer, wholesale, retail, with arrows going back and forth.

They try to impress you, because they think that they know damn well economics is not a science, but they’re trying to fool us into thinking it’s a real science. It’s not. Economics is a set of values that they then try to use mathematical equations and all that stuff and pretend that it’s a science. If you ask the economist in that equation, where do you put the ozone layer? Where do you put the deep underground aquifers, the fossil water? Where do you put topsoil or biodiversity?

They’re answer is, “Oh, those are externalities.” Then you might as well be on Mars. That economy is not based in anything like the real world. It’s life, the web of life that filters water in the hydrologic cycle, it’s micro-organisms in the soil that create the soil that we can grow our food it. Nature performs all kinds of services. Insects fertilize all of the flowering plants. These services are vital to health of the planet.

Economists call these externalities. That’s nuts!

We’re told over and over the economy is the bottom line. I don’t think so.

What kind of a world would I like to see our species generations from now? I hope it will be a creature that understands what the real bottom line is.

“Thank you for this, endlessly…and this is coming from an econ teacher. Times are changing and people are waking up to the fallacy of economics, but greed and ego are formidable foes indeed.”

I studied economics in Switzerland, and I completely agree with Mr Suzuki: The theory of neoclassical economics (or mainstream economics) is based on organized ecological ignorance. Political economy had a noble purpose with early philosophers like Adam Smith and Ricardo, but it has become a sort of pseudoscience later (microeconomics, macroeconomics etc.) because it was shaped by the narrow and short-term interests of corporations, not by wisdom. The primary ideological problem with mainstream economics is, it does not consider nature as the primary producer. For mainstream economics, nature is a kind of passive raw material resource, an infrastructure of life, and a dumping ground for pollution with a certain capacity for recycling.”

“As Erwin Miller pointed out below, our economy needs to “operate with long term goals, …like in 500 years or 1000 years.” I agree “conventional” economics is brain damage, it is in fact criminal as is the usurious privately controlled monetary system it labors to disguise. “

“Very powerful – well done!”

“I wish more people cared about this. It’s strange isn’t it? The one life we’re given we throw away, and the one earth we’re given we pollute.”

“Of course when he calls it brain damage, he’s being politically correct as it’s far worse than that.”

“David Suzuki does a succinct job of revealing the truth about “The Economy.” Now, our job is to change the minds that need changing and that can be changed. . I have been working at this task for a few decades now and I will continue to work as if it is my vocation and avocation. . Carry on. “

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