Let me offer a slight  objection to this argument. In principle, capitalist growth need not be in material terms.  One might have 131 times as much software, for instance. Then the real limitation would come from another source. The limits of human attention. who would be able to use or leanr so much software, computer games, or even read 131 times as many books as today? If the average house built today in america ha more than one bathroom per person, to use a different example, what would be the point in having 131 bathrooms per person even aside from the resource problem? Of course, perhaps you've answered that Herb by propounding that human shit would multiply as well (per capita? yikes!).



On Aug 16, 2011, at 10:01 PM, herb fox wrote:

What is unbelieveable is that we are informed that the end of our wonderful depression (i'm not prepared to participate in the word game by using recession) will be over when we are back on the track of 5% annual growth.  They say this with a straight face.  I have reduced my critique of capitalism with those who are math challenged to show them that the product of 1.05 by itselff over some number of years yields a large number. The popular masses are not abstract thinkers; but in the end they are the ones who must grasp the consequences of unlimited growth.  Consequently i simply invite them to determine themselves that 5% growth means that over the next 100 years there will be 131 times what we presently have, that we'll have to spend 131 times what we spend today, that there will be 131 times the waste that we produce today, etc.  I believe that the head in the sand response of your New Zealand intelligentsia is disingenuous.  They are not the ones who are going to suffer.  It is the children of everyone; their existence will become untenable.  I encourage everyone of us clever science types to shift our attention from exclusive communities of intelligentsia to the popular masses by presenting not just scenarios of what the planet will be like but show them that just as a 5% mortgage compounded monthly means that they pay 4.5 times the initial principle for their home over thirty years so also does 5% growth mean that everything from paper to automobiles to human shit will be 4.5 times what it is now after thirty years; and that's not good!