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Twin troubles awaken new politics

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Choosing between economic and ecological conservatism

By John Bartlit

Should we worry about the national debt? Is it wise not to cut down a mountainside full of trees to meet current needs?
The questions together are a curious pair. Or more to the point, how curious that we never hear the questions asked together.       
They are but two forms of the same question: How do we husband assets so as to maintain capabilities for those who come later?              
Mull on it. The fields of economics and ecology are more the same than different. They are chapters in the same book.
Even their names look oddly alike for a reason. “Economist” and “ecologist” both derive from the Greek word “ecos” (oikos), which means “house.” Originally an economist was a manager or keeper of the house (home economist).
An ecologist is a keeper of the big house in which we all live.
The theme of the national debt crisis is we cannot spend more than we replenish on an ongoing basis. Overspending results in loss of the nation’s long-term ability to raise capital at a decent price.
Lenders run away. The money supply erodes. Lenders in the U.S. and abroad demand higher interest rates.


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