[Marxism] Are futures markets better than no planning at all?

Barry Brooks durable at earthlink.net
Sun Jun 22 10:13:25 MDT 2008


I accept that today's high oil prices don't 
reflect real scarcity. Misplaced blame for 
high oil prices reflects a general confusion 
about how the world works.

The expectation of future scarcity should 
drive up prices beyond current supply/demand 
factors. That's the way that futures markets 
try to plan for the future. That is a poor 
way to deal with future scarcity, but it's 
better than no planning at all.

Not that the market system will ever provide 
adequate planning, but if people from the 
future were here to bid up prices we would be 
forced to save some oil for them. This 
reliance on market forces can not lead to 
adequate planning for the future exactly 
because all the interested parties are not 
represented.

It was from Collin Clark I believe, I can't
find a reference, but 20 years ago I read
about how a forest manager would be better
off clear cutting and putting the money into
bonds if the interest rate exceeded the
sustainable yield. Twenty year trees are
impractical if interest rates are above 5%.

The fools in charge can't even give the 
correct answer the question "Is solar 
practical?" The standard bs is to compare 
one's fuel bill with the mortgage
payments on a solar house. That forgets that
one day the solar house would be paid off and
the fuel bill will skyrocket. It also ignores
that the mortgage payment is a function of
policy, while the fuel bill is harder to
control.

If they ever "get it" that increased 
durability is one of the best ways to cope 
with future resource scarcity and the limits 
to consumption, then the imperialists could 
tailor their paper economy to support that goal.

Anyway, the right thing must look beyond 
current money flows. Capitalism will not look 
ahead. It hates planning so much that is 
willing to regulate its own futures markets 
to prevent even that limited planning. Only 
socialism might consider the future 
adequately, but even socialists can deny the 
limits to growth.

Yes, there is no oil supply problem, yet.

Barry Brooks











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