Quote of the Day- John Seymour

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by Peter Clements, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. Peter Clements

    Peter Clements Junior Member

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    Here's a great quote by John Seymour to really blow the economic rationalist argument out of the water- what if I enjoy doing something that is "inefficient"?

    "It is inefficient, any agricultural economist will tell you, for me to hand-milk a cow. But what if I like hand-milking a cow? What is the economist going to say about that? Has any economist ever tried to measure the 'efficiency' of playing golf? And what if a couple of gallons of milk a day derive from my activity of hand-milking a cow? Does that make it in any way less 'efficient' than if I spent the time playing golf? When economists try to measure things like that they quickly get themselves in to very deep water." - John and Sally Seymour (1973) Self Sufficiency: The Science and Art of Producing and Preserving your own Food, Faber&Faber

    I've come across similar arguments for instance against using photovoltaics to generate your own electricity. They say "its just not economic to do that-the payback period is over 10 years". My reply is to ask "how many years is the payback on that granite benchtop in your kitchen?" At least I get to keep my solar panels at the end of 10 years- all the others get is a bunch of paid bills. Some people buy expensive sports cars- I prefer to invest in solar power, and enjoy doing so.

    Cheers folks
     
  2. forest

    forest Junior Member

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    Ahhh, the fabulous John Seymour. I was so sad to hear of his death last year.

    I agree, you can't measure the pleasure principle. I think that many people live like we do simply for the pleasure they derive from carrying out the tasks. That can't be measured so no economist would understand it.
     
  3. Cornonthecob

    Cornonthecob Junior Member

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    Hear Hear :)
     
  4. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    I wouldnt trust an Economist as far as i could throw his safe.

    Tezza
     
  5. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    well done Peter.. something I heard recently..

    This wont read well!

    Recently [some time this year] Dominic de Villepin, [one of the world's great politicians-france] was at an international summit and was explaining France's Agricultural Policy.

    This is the good bit, and I have searched for it and cannot locate it on the Net. Anyway, I found it to be profound and I do have to paraphrase, so excuse me.

    He said, 'You people assume that French Farmers only produce Agricultural Products and you are wrong. French farmers maintain our communities, our differences, our cultural heritage, much of our natural heritage. They are our villages and countryside. They keep alive the sense of being French. they uphold our land, honour it and thrive upon it. They are our bulwark against famine. They are the fabric with which we weave a country'

    Are they 'efficient?' Are they 'cost effective?' Do they 'produce?'

    'I say OUI to all of those. France does not subisidise farmers, just who we are!'

    Sincerely, I have looked for the original link and I am sorry I have lost it. I would be happy for any Google-ologistas to find it for me but please do not attack me if I did not recreate this verbatim. It was never my intention to misinform but to share an amazing political statement.

    Cheers Mike Jackson
     

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