Civic Finance & Civitas Fidelis

We’re back. The posts already appearing here on CIV FI were originally written and accessible at a website launched in the summer of 2009 that was taken down for several months, and now appear here as the opening posts on CIV FI, or The earlier site was a placeholder, whereas this one is intended to grow into its name.

As stated on the “About” page, “ was created to answer a need for greater discussion among and between investors and policymakers on the issues of financial sustainability.” That is a tall order, but it is truly the only theme that feels appropriate as human civilization enters the 2nd decade of the 21st century facing its biggest financial challenges in eighty years. And these challenges are not over. They’ve just begun. But they can be solved. Ongoing, downwardly spiraling financial catastrophe is not inevitable.

Civic finance is not quite the same as economics. Unlike an economic theory, you can analyze civic finance on a spreadsheet. You can reduce it to cash flow projections. You can isolate your assumptions and you can identify your options, often with unsettling precision. This website was created because there is far too little of this sort of analysis available on the internet, and as a result, there is grossly inadequate discussion regarding everything from infrastructure investment to environmental cost/benefit analysis to public sector deficits, and on and on.

Given the times we live in, with far too many [...] Read More

The Prosperity Choice

Advocates of policies designed to regulate CO2 tend to invoke the precautionary principle – that is, even if something incredibly horrible is not really happening, preparing for this horror is something worth doing, because the consequences of preparation for nothing are less than the consequences of doing nothing and having the worst scenarios actually come to pass.

This position rests on two fundamental assumptions, regulating CO2 helps the economy more than it hurts the economy, and regulating CO2 would actually have a positive impact on global climate trends. But there is an alternative version of environmentalism that would argue against this, and make the following claims:

(1) CO2 regulations will cause grievous harm to the U.S. and global economy and will trample upon the freedom of individuals and nations.

(2) Imposing CO2 regulations will do nothing to mitigate alleged harmful trends in global climate.

(3) Humanity is poised at the brink of unprecedented prosperity and CO2 regulations will create a tyrannical global order of rationing and arbitrary power that will rob humanity of this positive destiny.

In support of these positions, especially the third – that we are poised at the brink of unprecedented abundance and prosperity, are three articles:

The Abundance Choice – Abundance is a choice, and it is a choice the privileged elite must make – in order for humanity to achieve abundance, the elites must accept the competition of disruptive technologies, the competition of emerging nations, and a vision of environmentalism [...] Read More