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Cadmus  2012 

Entropy and Economics

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In this essay, human society is regarded as a “superorganism”, analogous to colonies of social insects. The digestive system of the human superorganism is the global economy, which ingests both free energy and resources, and later excretes them in a degraded form. This process involves an increase in entropy. Early in the 20th century, both Frederick Soddy and Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen discussed the relationship between entropy and economics. Soddy called for an index system to regulate the money supply and a reform of the fractional reserve banking system, while Georgescu-Roegen pointed to the need for Ecological Economics, a steady-state economy, and population stabilization. As we reach the end of the fossil fuel era and as industrial growth falters, massive unemployment can only be avoided by responsible governmental action. The necessary steps include shifting labor to projects needed for a sustainable economy, dividing the available work fairly among those seeking employment, and reforming the practices of the financial sector.


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