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Human Knowledge: Foundations and Limits

I happen to think that Belief in Global Warming is a huge mistake, of course and David lets himself down by not analysing the actual data himself – he is well capable of it. But in the end, I do feel that David is a man who is overall a power for good, because global warming or not, we can’t go on burning fossils forever. The reserves may be there, but the cost of extracting them is already above what nuclear power could and should cost (but doesn’t).

Non-renewable resource - Wikipedia

Environmental context. Charcoal is widespread in soils and may be a major component of soil organic matter. Trace metal ions in soils are predominantly associated with solid phase materials, including charcoal, and the identity of the solid phase and the mechanisms of association influence the geochemical behaviour of metals. Metals associated with soil mineral phases are estimated using techniques such as selective sequential extraction, and the sorption reactions of metal ions are well understood. Much less is known about the associations of trace metals with natural charcoal, and metals associated with charcoal in soils are likely to be misidentified in sequential extraction procedures.

Let definition, to allow or permit: to let him escape. See more.

In this paper, we test a specific hypothesis that connects such rent extraction to the level of local amenities

The property rights which peasants successfully established and defended in France led to technical stagnation in agriculture, however. This was true in part because peasant production was inherently low-yield; it took place on a small scale, using traditional and relatively inefficient techniques of cultivation. But peasants were also less able to make capital investments in their farms because of their vulnerability to surplus- extracting agencies above them. It was possible for other agencies-- landlords and the state, particularly--to extract what small surplus that existed from peasant cultivators.

the emergence of a structure of ownership of land . . . provided the peasantry in most of France (in contrast to England and elsewhere) with relatively powerful property rights over comparatively large areas of the land. This presented a powerful barrier to those who wished to concentrate land. For whatever the market situation . . . the peasantry would not in general easily relinquish their holdings, the bases of their existence and that of their heirs. . . . It was thus, I will argue, the predominance of petty proprietorship in France in the early modern period which ensured long-term agricultural backwardness. This was not only because of the technical barriers to improvement built into the structure of small holdings, especially within the common fields. It was . . . because peasant proprietorship in France came to be historically bound up with the development of an overall property or surplus- extraction structure which tended to discourage agricultural investment and development; in particular, the heavy taxation by the monarchical state; the `squeezing' of peasant tenants (leaseholders) by the landlords; and, finally, the subdivision of holdings by the peasants themselves. (Brenner 1976:46)

Development Economics - Sample Test Questions

Economists and businessmen with no previous record of concernfor the poor have now begun to attack steady-state advocates asupper-class social climbers, who, having gotten theirs, now wantto kick the ladder down behind them and leave the poor forever onthe ground floor. There may be such people, and certainly theyshould be condemned. But most advocates of the steady stateaccept and proclaim the absolute necessity of limits toinequality in the distribution of both wealth and income. Indeed,many people who have long favored less inequality in thedistribution of wealth on ethical and political grounds havereached the same conclusion on ecological grounds. It is theorthodox growthmen who want to avoid the distribution issue. AsWallich so bluntly put it in defending growth, "Growth is asubstitute for equality of income. So long as there is growththere is hope, and that makes large income differentialstolerable" (1972). We are addicted to growth because we areaddicted to large inequalities in income and wealth. What aboutthe poor? Let them eat growth! Better yet, let them feed on thehope of eating growth in the future!

Let us turn now to the circumstances of the local ruling classes in various regions of Europe. Brenner points out that lords do not always have an economic incentive to increase the efficiency of agriculture. Under some economic circumstances the lord's interests may be best served by intensifying old forms of surplus extraction, rather than by reorganizing the production process. “Given his unfree peasants, the lord's most obvious mode of increasing output from his lands was not through capital investment and the introduction of new techniques, but through `squeezing' the peasants, through raising either money-rents or labour-services” (Brenner 1976:48). These incentives prevented lords from putting into place technical innovations which were readily available.

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Sample Test Questions for Development Economics

It follows therefore that long-term economic changes, and most crucially economic growth, cannot be analysed adequately in terms of the emergence of any particular constellation of `relatively scarce factors' unless the class relationships have first been specified; indeed, the opposite outcomes may accompany the impact of apparently similar economic conditions. In sum, fully to comprehend long-term economic development, growth, and/or retrogression in the late medieval and early modern period, it is critical to analyse the relatively autonomous processes by which particular class structures, especially property or surplus-extraction relations, are established and in particular the class conflicts to which they do (or do not) give rise. (Brenner 1976:32)

Steve Teles and Brink Lindsey on *The Captured …

What may have been responsible for the superiority of the English lords as extractors of a surplus from their peasants was their superior self-organization--their superiority the French lords as feudal centralizers and feudal accumulators. (Brenner 1982:51)

Management for All: COST LEADERSHIP

This paper develops an account of the role and significance of rent extraction in executive compensation. Under the optimal contracting view of executive compensation, which has dominated academic research on the subject, pay arrangements are set by a board of directors that aims to maximize shareholder value by designing an optimal principal-agent contract. Under the alternative rent extraction view that we examine, the board does not operate at arm's length; rather, executives have power to influence their own compensation, and they use their power to extract rents. As a result, executives are paid more than is optimal for shareholders and, to camouflage the extraction of rents, executive compensation might be structured sub-optimally. The presence of rent extraction, we argue, is consistent both with the processes that produce compensation schemes and with the market forces and constraints that companies face. Examining the large body of empirical work on executive compensation, we show that the picture emerging from it is largely compatible with the rent extraction view. Indeed, rent extraction, and the desire to camouflage it, can better explain many puzzling features of compensation patterns and practices. We conclude that extraction of rents might well play a significant role in U.S. executive compensation; and that the significant presence of rent extraction should be taken into account in any examination of the practice and regulation of corporate governance.

Steady-State Economics, by Herman Daly

A variety of explanations have been advanced for these developments. Some economic historians (e.g., M. M. Postan and Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie) have maintained that the cause of this process of change was an autonomous increase in either population or commerce or both. Robert Brenner argues, however, that these explanations are inadequate, since these large-scale factors affected the whole of Western Europe, while capitalist breakthrough occurred only in Britain. Brenner holds that the determining factor is the particular character of social-property relations in different regions of Europe (particularly the conditions of land-tenure and associated forms of surplus extraction), the interests and incentives which these relations impose on the various actors, and the relative power of the classes defined by those relations in particular regions.

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