Alternative Socioeconomics/Why look at alternative systems?/Resource Allocation

Resource Allocation


Economic systems form an example of a resource allocation system,; we allocate the rocks in the ground and the crops in the field to production facilities that produce the goods we desire. Our current socioeconomic systems, however, has a liner nature to it. We retrieve the rocks in the ground and harvest the crops, produce goods which go out for consumption and then we dispose of them. We throw them away.

Out current system does have some recycling but the liner production / disposal mode of operation forms the dominate characteristic. Such a mode of operation forms the characteristic of a n unsustainable system. Any physical system, such as our current socioeconomic system, that consumes a finite physical resource collapse as the resources that it depends on run out and we depend on so many finite resources, from cooper to oil to land, that we consume as if they would last for ever.

This constant need for production forms one of the main characteristics of our current system. We need to produce to keep people employed, to keep the money flow work and to keep the economy growing. Yet, as we do so, we dig our own graves. Our system has a number of ways to maintain constant production from fashion to built in obsolescence.

A sustainable system has a different characteristic; a cyclic nature. In a such a system resource acquisition leads to production then to consumption and then, rather than dispose, to recycling where we use the recycled goods as resource to start the cycle all over again. In addition to the cyclic nature, a sustainable system also aim to maximise the life expectancy of an item. In such a system we would try and make sure that any item produced stays in the system as long as possible so such a system minimises production. Both such characterises of a sustainable system stand in opposition to our current system. Any attempt to make our current system sustainable with our minimising production and making the system cyclic fails to address the problem.