It will never happen – or will it? – but there is a different and I think better economic basis on which to run the country. ACRES USA magazine has a great article from a former tenured University Ag. Economist, John Ikerd. I have heard Dr. Ikerd talk and he is certainly passionate and reasoned. He is also one of the great champions of sustainable systems, be they biological or economic. He also studied under the great agronomist William Albrecht of The University of Missouri who was the foremost agronomist during the 1940’s before chemical agriculture changed the political landscape of agriculture.
What is refreshing to read is Ikerd’s review of Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations. What Ikerd reminds us of is that the economic model that was in the mind of people like Adam Smith was always tempered with moral and ethical principles in order to work. It seems that those things have been forgotten. The results have not been pleasant. He says:
“This overall experiment in the industrialization of agriculture for the sake of economic efficiency has been a failure, but this overall experiment in trying to create a happy, well-adjusted, peaceful society out of economic growth has been a dismal failure”.
Can we evolve our economic model into something that serves us better? Ikerd also refers to John Maynard Keynes and his Essays in Persuasion, in which Keynes expects us to solve the temporary economic problems of food, clothing, shelter and health care, and then move on to the permanent problem of society which is how to live wisely (morally, ethically), agreeably (socially getting along with each other – Dems and GOP?) and well (enough material wellbeing). Will it ever happen?
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