Prosperity Through Rationing
The overuse and waste of valuable natural resources is threatening to produce a fresh economic crisis, the European Union's environment chief has warned.
Janez Potočnik, the EU commissioner for the environment, linked the current economic crisis gripping the eurozone with potential future crises driven by price spikes in key resources, including energy and raw materials.
Potočnik gave notice that his department was scouring through existing regulations and proposed new ones in order to ensure that none would encourage resources to be used profligately, and to safeguard the EU's natural resources for the future.
Although most of the west is still mired in economic woes, much of the developing world including rapidly emerging economies such as China and India are forging ahead financially, and as a consequence are consuming a far greater share of the world's resources.
Potočnik called for resource use to become a "mainstream" issue in economics. Recalling his own education as an economist, he noted: "I was taught that water was a free commodity, like air. We really do need to have the internalisation of these costs."
A good dose of regulation and rationing and bureaucratic control of resource allocation that's what our Ljubljana economic wonk is ordering for us to catch up with those crazy growing economies. Allowing the market to allocate anything - pah!