growth politics religion

Is envy a good thing?

Last week Boris Johnson presented the third annual Margaret Thatcher Lecture, a speech that’s got him a fair amount of attention. Johnson attracts attention, it’s fair to say, but this time it wasn’t the hair or the jokes, or a stunt gone wrong. For a change, it was the Mayor of London’s politics that made the headlines. Newspaper editors weren’t sure what to run with – the shameless elitism, the defence of greed, or the suggestion that 16% of the population are too stupid to succeed in life? The line that jumped out to me was this one:

 “I don’t believe that economic equality is possible; indeed, some measure of inequality is essential for the spirit of envy and keeping up with the Joneses that is, like greed, a valuable spur to economic activity.”

There are a raft of contradictions about equality in Boris’ speech, but others have covered those. I wanted to mention the envy.

Envy, you may remember, is something we’re warned about in the Ten Commandments. You’d think that, of all the wildly creative forms of human wickedness, there might have been something more serious than envy to take a place in the top ten.  But where there is envy, there is no goodwill. Not in either direction. It is a poison to society.

Envy is corrosive. It draws us away from what we have and towards what we can’t have. It breeds dissatisfaction and discontent, unhappiness and low self-esteem. It’s also divisive, pushing a wedge between the haves and the have-nots, eroding trust and increasing suspicion.

Living in envy is no way to live, but being envied is hardly as wonderful as the advertisers imply either. People are jealous and predisposed to find fault, to pull you down and highlight your hypocrisies. (See the gossip magazines at any supermarket checkout for evidence.) We hate the people we envy. Why would we want to be hated?

So why does Mr Johnson think envy is a good thing? This is where I get particularly mad. He believes that envy is ‘a valuable spur to economic activity.’ Yep, social discord and personal unhappiness is not just acceptable, but a good thing, because it leads to economic growth. What an inhuman philosophy growth economics can be.

It’s strange. We look down on previous generations that were oppressed by religious hierarchies, or who gave up their freedoms for nationalist pipe dreams or a dead-end ideology. But we live in a society where people have to be kept miserable in order to drive economic growth, and we hardly notice. Future generations will pity us.

As Mike Konczal wrote recently in the New Inquiry, “in neoliberal society markets don’t serve the pre-existing needs of subjects; subjects are fabricated to serve the market. The subject’s purpose in life becomes synonymous with the facilitation of economic growth.”

And that’s why postgrowth economics isn’t just about sustainability. It’s bigger than that. It’s about what it means to be human, what a good life is, what we’re here on earth for in the first place. ‘More economic activity’ is a hollow and meaningless concept on its own. It’s not a fit ambition for a country, or for us a species. We can do better than that.

And no, no and thrice no, that does not mean communism. That would be a return to past failures. We’re not going to fix 21st century problems with 20th century dogma, neither Marx’s nor Thatcher’s – thank you Boris, you can sit down now. We will learn from the past, but the way we put things together will be new, of necessity untested and iterative, because the world is not the same today as it was.

Boris Johnson still gets the headlines, but the future does not belong to him and his futile politics of greed. It belongs to those working on how to make economic prosperity, environmental sustainability and human welfare into convergent goals. If you’re working on ways to move us beyond our blind allegiance to growth, you’re engaged in one of the most important projects of our age.

45 comments

  1. A splendid riposte to the celebrity sensationalist mayor! What a pity you have such different audiences! But be thankful that you occupy the moral high ground!!

  2. And they say that Boris would like to become Prime Minister. God help us if he does! I hope, and suspect, that with this speech he has rather nailed his colours to the mast and shot himself in the foot (if you will forgive the mixing of metaphors…)

  3. That economic activity is what has underpinned humanities material advancement in the last 300 years. Given that has been largely driven by capitalism and that is as the Mayor says, spurred by envy then envy can be said to have driven that advancement.

    Now I may be unhappy being envious of what others have, but that is a different order of unhappiness to having most of my children die before adulthood or fearing a single bad harvest could lead me and my family to starvation. Envy is in the control of the person who is doing the envying. You can choose not to envy what others have, to be content with yourself.

    So far the only model of development that has lifted countries out of poverty is to export to richer countries. They need our markets to grow to give them space to export. So until we have abolished poverty we need a growing economy and if envy is needed for that, it is for a greater good.

    I look forward to future technological and material advancement. We don’t know what remains undiscovered. To seek to deny that to the world because you can’t control your own emotions seems a little selfish to me.

    1. Do people only want running water or electricity because they envy those with it? Do people want their children to survive into adulthood only out of envy of the rich? This is a laughable argument.

      There are good reasons to do things and there are bad ones, and there are plenty of motivations for development without resorting to greed and envy.

      But, it doesn’t surprise me that you’ve been drinking the same Kool-aid as Boris.

      1. As ever you make no effort to understand opposing arguments. Just construct a strawman to try ineffectually to knock down.

        I didn’t say that people wanted their children to survive into adulthood only out of envy of the rich. No. People wanted running water or electricity in economic systems that you imagine weren’t driven by envy, just those systems were unable to produce them. (Electricity was only discovered within countries that had capitalist economic systems so without that envy driven system no sparks). Only capitalism has shown it can. Thus if capitalism is driven by envy then that is a lesser evil. You will the ends but not the means.

        At least you accept that your alternatives are untested now.

        1. I understand the arguments, I just don’t agree that envy is an essential ingredient for capitalism. And you, as usual, have jumped two steps ahead of what I’ve said and replied as if I was trying to knock down the whole of capitalism. Again, same as Boris, who suggested that our choices were either communism or thatcherism.

          1. The thing is that you have fallen for Boris’s provocation. He only uses the word envy once, and in context he is not using its correct meaning. Look at his sentence. He uses envy as if it has the same meaning as ‘keeping up with the Joneses.’ Now the meaning of that idiom is not a “desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable thing belonging to someone else,” but to use your neighbour as a benchmark for your acquisition of material possessions or social position. I must admit I have been playing along using Boris’s incorrect use of envy, while you have been literal minded in order to be able to make some supposedly morally superior point..

            Let’s take an example. Two 16 year old brothers who live on a council estate watch The Apprentice. One (let’s call him Jem) see Lord Sugar’s big houses, private jet and fancy car and envies it. He wants those things, he fulminates at the unfairness that he hasn’t got them. He decides that Lord Sugar shouldn’t have those things if he, Jem,can not.

            Now the other brother (Tim) sees Lord Sugar’s wealth and also wants to be wealthy. But he rather than letting the desire for those things turn to envy and bitterness, goes out and tries to emulate his hero. He gets a low paid job to earn some money to start his own trading business. He works hard, Tim’s success is in his hands.
            It is pretty obvious from the whole of Boris’s speech that it is the reaction of Tim that drives economic activity.

            Now it is clear envy lies in the heart of that doing the envying. If we were to satisfy Jem and take Lord Sugar’s riches from him and distribute them so that Jem got a share, would that be just? What harm has Lord Sugar done to Jem? Other than what Jem created in his own heart, nothing. To punish Lord Sugar for Jem’s jealousy would be to reward vice, rather than virtue.

            Almost all religions focus on envy being destructive of the person who feels the envy and seeks for them to let go of it. While not pursuing the acquisition of material things is an aim it those religions it is not to so as to remove the cause of envy from others, but for the individuals well being.

            We will always have envy. We are status seeking animals and even in a world of total economic equality there would be inequality in status which for some will lead to envy (the old envy the young, the ill the well, the ugly the attractive).

            There is not Utopia out there.

    2. Hmmm…. from memory:
      Clothes were not developed due to capitalism.
      Nor were shoes.
      Now was agriculture (Although sustainable organic agriculture is being destroyed by greed)
      Metalwork? – No
      Steel agricultural tools – no
      Concepts such as democracy – no, not due to capitalism.
      Language = No.
      Writing and paper – no
      Gunpowder – no
      When the King of Thailand developed cloud seeding, did greed or envy drive him? No
      Fire – no
      The wheel – no
      When a bird uses a rock to crack up an egg, is that due to capitalism? No
      How about when an orangutan builds a nest or a chimpanzee uses a stick to get ants – any influence from capitalism in there? No
      Boats – no
      Navigation – no
      Understanding of the stars – no
      hmmmmm…. I don’t really see capitalism, greed or envy necessary for development

      1. Railways
        Telephones
        Electricity
        Radio
        Antibiotics
        The computer you wrote your reply on.
        Pretty much any complex technology
        All developed due to capitalism.
        You seem to aspire to live a very very simple life.

        1. Or perhaps the economic system we are forced to live under isn’t the only driving force of technology. Do you equally blame all bad things that have occurred during the past 300 years on capitalism?

          1. The word “capitalism” is freely bandied around but there seems to be no precise definition of what it actually is.

          2. Since the human condition is massively improved in the last 300 years I will accept the blame for all the bad things. The ledger is overwhelming positive.

            You don’t have to live under capitalism, you can join a commune.

          3. You are right, capitalism and free markets are not synonymous and I’m guilty of being a bit free with my use. Of the two free markets are more important but the two combined are the best economic model so far developed.

          4. Capitalism is such a loose term as to be verging on the meaningless. It is characterised by (1) free markets, and I do not have a problem with that (2) free choice of investment in physical capital, and I do not have a problem with that either, and (3) private appropriation of the rent of land – which operates against free markets, leads to inefficient resource allocation and the need to tax the products of labour ie public revenue through a system of legalised robbery, since the natural source of public revenue is largely ignored.

        2. What is this “capitalism” you are talking about?

          None of the things on your list could ever have happened without the critical knowledge input from academic research in academic ie non-profit-making institutions.

          1. Not sure what academic research was involved in the railway. Richard Trevithick and George Stephenson were doing it for the money. I’m happy for you to correct me on that.

            That there was academic research involved doesn’t mean that their existence did not depend on a market capitalist economy to provide the resources able to invest in them. Building the Liverpool and Manchester Railway would have been vastly beyond the resources of any pre-capitalist society. Only with the industrial revolution which required that very special relationship of rule of law, acquisition and security of capital, and increase in knowledge after the abandonment of religious dogmas did we start to gain enough wealth develop and deploy complex technologies.

            It has been said that we don’t need capitalism to give us the iphone since the government developed all the technologies. That is true but no government would have given us the iphone because it would not have identified the need. GPS would have remained for tanks, the internet for missile control.

          2. There was a mass of work on thermodynamics necessary to develop the steam locomotive, and a further mass of work necessary to develop the necessary materials science. Don’t forget this was only fifty years after the debunking of the phlogiston theory. Then came, very quickly, the development of essential devices such as the electric telegraph, which was the product of academic work conducted in the previous fifty years.

            No science, no railways.

          3. Railway building in Sweden did not take place as a result of private initiatives – the routes were planned centrally and built by the government. Most continental railways were built as government projects.

            Britain’s reliance on private investment for railway construction was immensely wasteful and inefficient, leading to a boom and then the Hudson bust of 1846. The story of the competition between the South Eastern and London, Chatham and Dover companies in Kent is an excellent argument for central planning and investment. The was not to the advantage of the passengers, and things were not resolved until amalgamation in 1899. You will also recall the Battle of Havant in 1859.

          4. Since railways were invented and developed in free market capitalist Britain it is irrelevant to talk about other countries state planned railway systems, they would not have existed without the British capitalist example. British railways were developed without any models. They had to work everything from first principles. State planning can only work when there is a model to follow.

            Nor should we forget that British capitalist industry supplied the rails and stock for those foreign railways at their start.

            The competition between the British railway companies was a bad thing for their investors. It was actually a good thing for the users. They got cheaper fares and more railways. Worth the occasional engine chained to the rails.

            Science in the Enlightenment period wasn’t state funded. It was either a rich man’s hobby or done for commercial gain (metallurgy was to make better metals to sell). The development of practical thermodynamics was to improve the efficiency of existing steam engines – hence was for commercial gain.

          5. This is pushing the argument. Railways ie iron trackways had been around since the seventeenth century. There is a complex of reasons why Britain came to the forefront at that time, including the establishment of the Royal Society by Charles I. That was on the basis of science that had been in progress since the early years of the seventeenth century. It was mostly driven initially by philosophical enquiry, but the military potential was soon realised, for example, in the fields of naval architecture, gunnery, chartmaking and navigation. A second factor was Nonconformism, which gave rise to the ironmaking industry early in the eighteenth century, long before the advent of the big joint stock company. The third factor was the Enclosures of 1760 onwards, which drove the peasantry off the land. This had a double effect – there was a cheap labour force living and working under conditions worse than slavery, and at the same time, the rent of land was captured by landowners who were then able to invest in physical capital.

            It was a logical development to extend mine railways out of the collieries, and a logical development to use steam power, once the metallurgy and thermodynamic theory was up to the task. As for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway; the choice of a joint-stock company was only one of several possible ways in which the project might have been financed. The financial model was familiar, in particular in the shipping industry, but it could equally well have been financed by the city corporations at each end of the route, or by central government. The problem with the model is, and remains, the fact that operators of railways are able to collect only the revenue from traffic receipts; external benefits (and costs) are enjoyed or (born) by landowners along the route, particularly at each end of the route, a problem that has come to attention again with the HS2 proposals.

            The competition was far from beneficial to the users of the railways, when the companies were impoverished due to there being insufficient traffic to justify the construction of competing railways. The competition model is questionable in situations of natural monopoly.

          6. The development of the steam railways would not have been carried out by the government. There were two perfectly serviceable canals between Liverpool and Manchester. Why duplicate them with a untested technology. No way for governments to have foreseen the success they would be or how important they would become for economic development.

            I think you are rather teleological in your view of the history of the railways. Just because it seems logical to us that wooden railed horse plateways developed into metal ones, into steam driven colliery railways then into the public steam railway, it did not seem so at the time. And I would point out each one of those previous developments had been driven by the pursuit of profit.

            It was a grand experiment. Its success was not obviously preordained. Profit seeking, what we might freely capitalism, is much more prepared to take risk than governments.

            That railways are in many ways a natural monopoly, especially if competing railway companies agree not to compete (as often happened in the Victorian era). But for towns that did have two or more lines which were competing then it did result in lower fares and better services. Just those towns without competition suffered. However, in those countries with state planning all wasn’t well. The French government only cared about lines to Paris. So cross country routes were few and poor, unlike in Britain.

          7. The usual reason for the technical developments you are talking about was to make the task easier in one way or another, or to satisfy a desire eg to travel from Liverpool to Manchester more easily. Profits are a *result* of a successful improvement. The raw pursuit of profit is apt to fail. In any case to attach the label “capitalism” to the process is not entirely honest. The term seems to have originated with Marx, who, with characteristic sloppiness, then failed to define what he meant. The early nineteenth century merchants who got together to invest in these projects would probably have thought of themselves as co-operators. Of course they expected or at least hoped that they would get their money back, and that was a gamble.

            The conditions in which early nineteenth investors had these funds available should never have been allowed to arise, and were the consequence of the great injustice with which the agricultural land enclosures were carried out. The country continues to suffer from the social division that was a product of the consequential hardship following on from the enclosures. Had the land process been done with justice, Britain would probably have ended up much like one of the Scandinavian countries, and possibly with a much smaller population.

            In that situation, the funding of major infrastructure projects would have happened in a different way. To suggest that it would not have happened at all is not a logical conclusion. It happened the way it did in Britain because of the way in which wealth had been concentrated in the previous fifty years. And the early advances which made Britain the first country to be industrialised had other causes.

          8. You are still holding a deterministic view of history that things will happen whatever. That just isn’t how things happen. From the historical viewpoint we can clearly see what worked. It isn’t anywhere near as clear at the time and can go many different ways. What is obvious to us was not then.

            Since, as I understand it in your alternative history, the wealth of England would be much more widely spread, it would have been much harder to fund any major projects. You have to have a certain concentration of capital to be able to create expensive assets. There would have therefore been nothing certain in developing railways. It was hard enough persuading enough people to invest in the railway and for Parliament to allow it to be built. Assuming far more widely spread wealth would have required even more people, many less sophisticated than those who did invest, persuaded of the merits of the project (or a similar one) and prepared to risk money on it. Given that there would still be no example to follow that would be very very difficult. Since without the enclosures it is unknowable if industrialisation would have carried on there may never have been the demand for such a line. As I said before, governments are very risk averse so at best they would build horse tramways or canals, not expensive untried steam railways.

            The accumulation of capital by capitalists (a word that predates Marx) allows investments with risk. Without risks being taken developments only take place at glacial speed. The technological bounty of the modern developed world (indoor plumbing, hot water, antibiotics and healthcare and freedom from starvation fr the vast mass of people) would not exist now, maybe never. Perhaps we would all be living a pastoral idyll (except those who would never have been born) but they weren’t before the enclosures so no reason to think we would now.

          9. Once the wheel was invented, railways were, as they say in the patents world, “obvious”. Wheeled vehicles wear grooves in the road, the Roman ones having, apparently, been about 1.5 metres apart, which is about normal for a railway. Once you have grooves in the road, it is obvious to put something hard on that part of the road for the wheels to run on. Have a look at the history – railways go back much further than anyone might expect – they were around in the middle ages. Wooden railways were around in the sixteenth century, the idea of iron running surfaces was also verging on the obvious, and there were extensive networks by the end of the eighteenth century. I am not sure that the work of Hackworth and George Stephenson was motivated by profit, any more than is that of a technically minded teenager who writes sophisticated computer programmes and builds robots for the fun of it. So the Liverpool and Manchester was an incremental development building on what went before.

            As for capital formation – the concentration of capital was achieved through great injustice. If wealth had been more evenly distributed amongst those who produced it, all that would have happened is that capital would have been owned more widely. A concentration of capital ownership was not necessary for the development of these projects.

            To suggest that people are driven purely by the profit motive is to take a dismal view of humanity. It is a false one, too. The best computer software, for example, is non-commercial.

          10. Profit, that is to say the desire for wealth and the comfort and status it brings, is a great spur to human endeavour. It is not the only reason people do things but is is definitely one. Would Royal navy captains and their crews have been so daring in the 18th and early 19th century if they hadn’t stood to profit personally from the prize money of captured ships? (The answer is no by the way).

            Would Stephenson have worked so hard if it had not made him a wealthy man? From what I have read it was certainly part of it.

            And the steam railway was even in 1830 a heck of a lot more complex than Roman rutways.

            Your view of history seems complacent to me.

    3. What is your definition of capitalism? It is a word universally bandied about, with not clear definition as to its meaning.

  4. Many people do try to avoid envy and greed, the question here is about someone with greater influence than most. I think he shows his ignorance of the real effect of both. Continue his way and our children are likely to suffer greater evils at the hands of fellow humans – I’d rather have a bad harvest, even early death. It’s not easy today watching so much poverty and deaths mostly due to other’s envy and greed. We already have what we fear – it’s just not in our yard, at the moment.

    1. Is it easier watching poverty, starvation and early death due to Nature’s caprice? Given the number of people in poverty as a percentage of the population of the Earth is the smallest it has ever been isn’t the envy and greed working out rather well?

      1. @DC – If caused by nature we are not responsible, but to have tragedy caused by ourselves! You can’t really not see the difference.
        You said it before – the ledger looks great and I’ve said, it depends what you enter on the pages.
        Look here DC :-), we all know we can’t control the amount of envy, greed, fear etc in the earth (except our own), and we all want goods things to come about, but this all began with some of us not wanting anyone with power in their hands to seemingly be encouraging any of these ills. I don’t think you are getting anywhere with any of us and I wonder how you are missing the point, but I think you’ll do better on the definition of capitalism – I look forward to reading your input.
        Thanks for having a go, anyway.

  5. Thanks Devonchap, I hadn’t realised it isn’t a utopia out there… I know we’ll always have envy, and we’ll always have inequality. What I don’t accept is a system which says that since we can’t solve those things, we should welcome them and call them good.

    Envy is socially and psychologically corrosive. It is not a good thing.

    Incidentally, you’re jumping ahead again in your little parable. I don’t think anybody is talking about taking things away from rich people and giving them to the envious poor.

    1. As I pointed out Boris didn’t actually mean envy. Read the whole speech.

      Envy is corrosive, but it is not the economic system that makes us envious, but the human condition and we will never get away from that. So to try to reorder society in pursuit of an unachiveable goal is the action of a zelot.

      So focus on the envious. The solution only comes from within the individual.

      1. @DC – Thanks for asking. You made me laugh :-). It’s lesson is about anything (not just houses) building from good or bad ‘foundations’. Some think envy can be used as a base to produce things beneficial to our well-being, but envy has its own seed (foundation) which, insidiously, causes society a greater harm whenever it is used. It was immature and irresponsible to use it as Boris did.

      2. Sorry DevonChap, I think in this case, I ought to have stuck closer to the actual story so, I’ll replace the good or bad ‘foundations’ with ‘material’. The point is the same, envy drives a bad machine and though the solution to ones own envy is in ones own hands, envy permeates society and causes a greater harm than its apparent benefits. But this does not enter the ledger, at least, not to its real value, if at all. It is not seen to be so relevant and interwoven. It takes a long term view and cannot be confined to a commercial ledger book.

  6. There’s an interesting and important conversation here, around what capitalism actually is. It is constantly presented as one of two possible choices, the other being communism, but it is so loosely defined. Unlike communism, it isn’t really a ‘system’ at all.

    Maybe I need to devote a week to capitalism sometime in the new year – what it is, what are its strengths and weaknesses, and how we make it work better. I could get some guest posts in.

    1. You can’t get a handle on the wretched term. It plagues any attempt at clear thinking. Marx seems to have been the first to use it to any extent and he was sloppy with his definitions. The same sloppiness got into the Catholic Social Teaching with the use of the term “property”.

      C. seems to be characterised by free markets, except in relation to land, intellectual property, and other monopolies, which supporters of capitalism prefer to ignore. When monopolies exist, markets are not free. Thus laissez-faire capitalism is an oxymoron. The banking system is an overlay on this; whilst its proper function is to facilitate economic activity, in practice it is parasitic. The system is rotten most of the way through, the extent of the rot being demonstrated by the Co-op Bank troubles, which should not have happened.

      A good analysis of “capitalism” is Brian Hodgkinson’s “A new model of the economy”, in which his main conclusion about capitalism (the book is not primarily about that), is that it is primarily a rent-extraction machine.

  7. Historically, profit and competition was almost certainly less of a spur to technical development than motivations such a the desire to build a better product, or interest or even just fun. Seventeenth century science, which is an important starting point for many technologies, was a rich man’s hobby. George Stephenson seems to have done his work on steam engines as much out of interest as for any other reason. The same goes for men like Faraday. Important developments in steam locomotive technology in the 1900s were done from a desire to built the most excellent product possible. As a scientist working in industry in the 1960s, it is my experience that the best work was done when those doing it wire fired up with enthusiasm for the project itself, not by the prospect of a better bottom line. There was in any case no system of reward for those doing the work, on the basis of payment by results. It was not needed.

    1. Military competition was a spur to develop better cannons and better ships.

      George Stephenson was born to a very poor father. His wife died young leaving him with a child to support. His father was blinded and George had to use his savings to pay his creditors and later to avoid being conscripted into the militia. To supplement his income he worked as a cobbler and clock repairer. In fcat he was always concerned with ways to further his income, as someone born in poverty in those uncertain times were often want to do.

      Through his talent in engineering he was promoted to be engine-wright at Killingworth colliery at £100 per year and it was there he was given the job of building a steam locomotive. Not a hobby or for fun, but paid work. It was from that relatively successful loco that he developed engines, but always as paid work or latter for a business he founded.

      I write all this to show that it wasn’t for fun that he developed the steam loco. I’m sure he found it interesting and rewarding but it is fairly clear that is more remunerative work had presented itself he would do that instead. After he surveyed and built the Liverpool and Manchester railway he was in great demand as a surveyor and took every job he could, over committing himself.

      We can not truly know his motivations at this distance. But they were probably varied.

    2. Another inventor of the 18th century who was spurred by profit was John Harrison. He invented clocks accurate enough to be used to measure longitude on ships. He did this to win the Longitude Prize of £20,000 (about £2.5 million in today’s money) which the British government had offered since 1714.

      Now if people before the Victorian’s were not driven by money, why would the government need to offer such a prize? If Harrison had not been driven by the desire for the money why did he wrangle so hard for it with the Navy Board?

      James Watt most certainly was improving steam engines for the money. Why else did he so jealously guard his patents to maintain a monopoly of their manufacture? Surely a man driven by the desire for a better product would welcome improvements from what ever source?

      Developments in steam loco technology in the 1800s (I’m assuming 1900’s is a typo) were driven by the desire to haul the most coal as efficiently as possible.

      There is a difference between scientific discovery, invention and innovation. Discovery is an intellectual pursuit, often done for fun and interest. Invention can be similar though often is driven by the identification of a need and the search to fill that to earn riches. Innovation is the powerful one, the bringing of different inventions together in new and unexpected ways. That is what has rushed the great technological changes of the last 250 years, allowing the great leap forward in the human condition. And innovation is driven by individuals and businesses seeking profit.

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