Archive for July, 2013
Itinerary to the Third Age – Special Edition of the European Papers on the New Welfare, No. 21, 2013
Introduction: From Limits to Growth to Limitless Growth
– Garry Jacobs & Ivo Šlaus
The following are some simple notes on what I think are some very basic fundamental issues to consider for the rebuilding of a new thinking on economics. They have been dealt with mainly in Cadmus and other publications since 1978. However all the major issues might appear dispersed and priorities are not always clearly perceived as such. In addition, they are all strongly interrelated. So let me reassume here the priorities:
The global demographic revolution is taking place in a situation of profound economic change which requires us to consider what, today, constitutes “The Wealth of Nations”. This is of course a very complex matter that I have tried to deal with over the last 30 years.** Only the main central points of reference are listed hereunder for the sake of discussion and further research, keeping in mind the fact that the word “sustainability” is in fact an indicator of the necessity to reconceptualise macro-economics and hence the definition and strategies for “wealth”:
Dear Madam, Dear Sir,
May I draw to your attention an issue that is constantly being talked about in the press, is on the lips of almost every politician and economist, something that you have probably had the occasion to discuss even with your neighbour: the issue of population ageing in industrialised countries, and in the long run in all other countries as well, which is one of the major problems of our time.
For about twenty years now the concept of human capital has become increasingly popular among economists. It is about time!
“But my dear Sir, we are all centre left!” Raymond Barre told me in Paris, in his apartment in Rue de Bagatelle. I was absolutely astounded. I had just told him that I knew Altiero Spinelli, a member of the European Community Commission in Brussels, well during the period when he was its Vice President. Raymond Barre then proceeded to sing the praises of the intelligence of the Italian Commissioner who had founded the European Federalism Movement in Italy, and who, before the war, had been imprisoned by the fascists, as an executive of the communist youth. It had been his friends in Nenni’s socialist party who had presented him as a candidate to the Commission in Brussels. Raymond Barre’s tone of voice was firm and sincere and I looked at him in awe which must have been very evident, given his reputation as a moderate right winger and Gaullist. Hence the unexpectedness of his statement.
In the rococo shelter of Leopoldskron Castle in Salzburg in Austria, I heard somebody talk about the post-industrial society and economy. In that summer of 1959, Daniel Bell gave his first conference on the subject during an American studies seminar, part of a series that has continued into our time.
“Did you say Ulrich, Ulrich Tuzzi?”
Having left the office I took about a quarter of an hour to get to the Grangettes clinic at Chêne-Bougeries, a district of Geneva. Near the Clinic car parking lot, to the west of the building, I found an old two storied house, surrounded by trees among which perhaps had survived four pines, already old at that time, and two birches described by Robert Musil in notes recounting the last years of his life. Unless, of course, those had been sacrificed to make way for the car parking lot. I was just about to check whether the half-moon shaped pool was still there, when I became aware of the presence of a friend, a research Fellow from CERN (European Centre for Nuclear Research). He was a physicist and was accompanied by a person of about forty, a man with a decisive air, a high forehead and black hair brushed straight back. Both of them seemed to be looking for something in the area around the old house. Read More
“Could you come and take some notes? And while you’re at it, have someone bring coffee”. So began my adventure with the Club of Rome: I actually entered through the service door. This invitation was put to me by Hugo Thiemann, Director General of the Battelle Institute of Geneva. A few months earlier I had sent him my book on Europe and Space and he had been impressed by it. It was June of 1968.*
“England is an island!” With this exclamation pronounced on 14th January 1963, Charles de Gaulle put an end to Great Britain’s first attempt to negotiate its entry into the European Common Market. Indirectly, but in as completely effective a way, this sentence was instrumental in bringing about a decisive change in my professional career. I realised this many months later.
Arnold Hatter was working in Geneva as a researcher at the Battelle Institute. It was a laboratory that counted several hundred collaborators. At the beginning of the seventies about a thousand of these were permanent staff. The centre formed part of a larger institution, the Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI), founded at the beginning of the thirties thanks to a fund of about two million dollars bequeathed by Gordon Battelle, who was to the United States steel industry what Krupp was in Germany or Schneider was in France. Read More