by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As appearing in the Daily Sentinel
One of the easiest ways to explain complex issues is with a good chart. A picture is worth a thousand words. Most people can readily understand the distribution of resources, or financial expenditures, or sources of energy, or a hundred other issues, by looking at a colorful pie chart. A third of something is for this purpose, another half for that, and a fifth for the other thing. It is also a clever way to explain why there isn’t enough to go around, but that isn’t always right. Especially regarding economic resources, it divides up the pie, but ignores the other possibility — getting a bigger pie.
Free enterprise, free trade, and the ability to profit from creativity, have resulted in a larger economy, and ever-growing resources, in many parts of the world. Pessimists often say available resources are limited, shrinking, and will soon be exhausted. It is almost never true.
Best-selling author and MIT research scientist Andrew McAfee has published several books on how digital technologies are changing our world. His new book is his most eye-opening, called “More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources…” He makes a persuasive case that people have finally learned how to increase prosperity, while enhancing their environment, not destroying it.