Employing productivity

The column "Ecology Economics," Sept. 26, says the US needs "a more enlightened environmental attitude that expands employment instead of adding to the divisiveness. How's that for the vision thing?"My answer: not too good. The increased productivity that is responsible for much of our well-being is the result of increasing capital in the form of technology, knowledge, and health - what economists call physical and human capital. Steps that reduce this in favor of creating jobs could very easily reduce our standard of living while reducing damage to the environment. We need to ask the question: Was the reduction in standard of living worth the reduction in environmental damage? A better question is: How we can increase productivity while simultaneously reducing adverse environmental impacts? Richard Weber, West Long Branch, N.J.

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