extremes it might appear that nothing useful can be accomplished at the community level without far-reaching changes provincially, nationally, and globally. Deficit spending is likely to rise; the national debt increases and, under the existing system in which government itself must also compete for funding on commercial money markets, the interest payments on the debt further constrain government spending. Fears of damaging economic growth prevent politicians from responding effectively on either ecological taxation or green investment. Making sense of such disparate measurements can sometimes be difficult and combining them into a single index of well-being entails assigning weights that may seem arbitrary. Some private corporations have sustainability plans, pursue the triple bottom line and conduct themselves in a socially responsible manner.
It is the attention paid by the carpenter, the tailor, and the designer that makes this detail possible. Some behaviors are indeed motivated by rational self-interest. In the following sections of this essay we will explore in more detail how it might be possible to shape the economic institutions that support these conditions. Governments are not just innocent bystanders in the negotiation of economic progress. The good news is that there are positive examples in support of each of these innovations. Figure 1 also shows that in several years the indices moved in opposite directions. Nor is it simply the outputs from these activities that make a positive contribution to flourishing. Here it is useful to point out another specific feature of these local, community-based energy enterprises. To be clear, this is not just about producing and consuming material stuff, but about providing the capabilities for people to flourish in their communities, socially and psychologically, as well as materially.
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