## Thursday, October 9, 2008

### Consumption Potential

The relationship I’ve identified between consumption and population is analogous to the relationship between power and current in a direct current electrical circuit. In the analogy, per-capita consumption corresponds to electrical potential (voltage) and the multiplier of population to get per-capita consumption corresponds to resistance (as in Ohm’s Law).

My mathematical modeling suggests that the overall “resistance” is unchanging in the world “circuit” and that “voltage” is the primary variable that affects “current.” The voltage varies exponentially with changes in the amount of available “energy” (resources), a variation that is primarily offset by control of the “voltage source” (resource extraction and distribution technology).

Because in a closed system “energy” (non-renewable resources) cannot increase, “voltage” must inevitably decrease – and with it, “current.” The world, in a sense, is like a light bulb and a fixed number of batteries; first one battery is attached to the light bulb, then another (in “series” with the first), and then another, until all the batteries are connected. Just as a battery has internal resistance that increases over time, causing the voltage across the battery to drop, the resources consumed by humanity become waste which inhibits further consumption, causing per-capita consumption (and population) to decrease.

Pete Murphy said...

Brad, I find this post very interesting because of the link you've made between population and consumption.

I am author of a book titled "Five Short Blasts: A New Economic Theory Exposes The Fatal Flaw in Globalization and Its Consequences for America." My theory is that, as population density rises beyond some optimum level, per capita consumption begins to decline. This occurs because, as people are forced to crowd together and conserve space, it becomes ever more impractical to own many products. Falling per capita consumption, in the face of rising productivity (per capita output, which always rises), inevitably yields rising unemployment and poverty.

This theory has huge ramifications for U.S. policy toward population management (especially immigration policy) and trade. The implications for population policy may be obvious, but why trade? It's because these effects of an excessive population density - rising unemployment and poverty - are actually imported when we attempt to engage in free trade in manufactured goods with a nation that is much more densely populated. Our economies combine. The work of manufacturing is spread evenly across the combined labor force. But, while the more densely populated nation gets free access to a healthy market, all we get in return is access to a market emaciated by over-crowding and low per capita consumption. The result is an automatic, irreversible trade deficit and loss of jobs, tantamount to economic suicide.

If you‘re interested in learning more about this important new economic theory, then I invite you to visit my web site at OpenWindowPublishingCo.com where you can read the preface for free, join in the blog discussion and, of course, buy the book if you like. (It's also available at Amazon.com.)

Please forgive me for the somewhat spammish nature of the previous paragraph, but I don't know how else to inject this new theory into the debate about trade without drawing attention to the book that explains the theory.

Pete Murphy
Author, "Five Short Blasts"

Anonymous said...

Posted in honor of Big-T.

Amazing. The worst economic and cultural crisis of all time will go down in history horribly misunderstood. What a pathetic bunch of ignorant fools we have become. Consumer junkie credit card morons. Perfect little victims. Say that reminds me.