Discuss Whether Economics Is a Sustainable Science or Not

Economics necessarily describes the allocation of finite resources. The attempts by the modern economic paradigm to establish a viable support system for the jobless and the homeless are empirical examples of the fact that the system is unsustainable. There are two primary reasons why I believe that economics is an unsustainable science. The first is the reliance on scarcity to drive supply and demand. The second reason why economics is an unsustainable science is the lack of incentives to create optimized products.

The reliance on the concept of resources as scarce is an impoverished ideology that has led to an idea of the market place as being driven by the “Invisible Hand” as described by Adam Smith in the “Wealth of Nations”. He described the economy as finding natural equilibriums between the available supply and the public demand for goods. If demand is high, then supply is low. Therefore prices would be high. The Opposite for this scenario is also true. The problem with this analysis is that it assumes that consumers who demand products will know the actual supply. For example, there is a surplus of diamonds on this earth. In fact, major companies tend to buy diamonds to keep the market from being flooded with them. This creates an artificial perception of diamonds as being scarce, and hence, demand rises. This type of activity is unsustainable because it encourages the maximization of profit at the cost of the public. Placing the power in the hands of the corporate elite allows them to plunder the planet at the cost of human civilization.

Beyond the fallacious interpretation of how markets produce price, the current economic paradigm encourages producers to create products in an unsustainable manner. This is because companies are encouraged to maximize profit and consequentially it means maximizing the amount of products sold. In order to sale the most amounts, companies create product with planned obsolescence under consideration. This means that they create products to break down and fail to optimize them for long term usage. When products break down, they are able to sale more replacement parts and even new products. This increases the total amount of waste and is an unsustainable practice.

When posed with the question, is economics a sustainable science, it is clear that the modern conceptualization of economics encourages unsustainable practices because it views resources within an unsustainable paradigm. Therefore the only conclusion to the proposed question is that economics is an unsustainable science.


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