Sunday, December 29, 2013

When You're Not Playing With a Full Deck


The Centre for Economics and Business Research, (CEBR) recently brought a smile to David Cameron's mug with the prediction that, by 2030, Britain's economy will be larger than Germany's.  The think tank also concluded that China's economy will again become the largest in the world although not until 2028 will it surpass the United States.  In case you're wondering, Canada will be doing just dandy.

Having seen plenty of news reports about this study I finally went after the .pdf version.  That's where I discovered that, in keeping with neo-classical economic theory generally, the CEBR folks seem to have formulated their analysis in something of a vacuum.  They're addressing a world that is magically devoid of resource shortages and exhaustion, food insecurity, overpopulation, environmental degradation and climate change impacts.  They're envisioning a world without major restraints on growth.

It's sort of like saying, "if we omit this, this and this, then this is what the world will be fifteen years from now."  To me, that's like not playing with a full deck or, maybe, even dealing from the bottom.

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