Incorrect Economic Assumptions

There are several assumptions in conventional economics which are proving to be wrong based on recent studies into consumption.

Paraphrased from Confronting Consumption (Princen, Maniates, Conca, ed.):

  • Consumers know everything about what they are purchasing
  • Social and environmental costs (of extraction, production, and use) of products, not included in prices, are minimal
  • Price is determined solely by supply and demand (without rigging)
  • Lower prices and more products will always improve people's lives
  • Consumers are solely responsible for the impacts of consuming (not the marketers who convince them to purchase and the producers who hide costs they might care about)

And of course (my addition):

  • Exponential growth in consumption is sustainable given proper economic incentives

© Copyright 2008 Bradley Jarvis. All rights reserved.