Graphing It Out,
I apologize that the writing of this article is jargony, but it is still a good article, It looks at the decreasing proportion of total economy spent on energy following the harnessing of coal, then oil. Energy got cheaper, and food got cheaper in direct proportion. As long as food and energy were getting cheaper, people could buy more things with their extra wages. When "necessities" of food and energy don't get cheaper, economy stagnates, as 1970s and since 2001. Graphic examples are given, as well as specifics of the different time periods. This is another analysis which concludes that the end of cheap energy is the end of growth of consumer economy. A new economy will have to be created. (We can all do our parts by finding satisfaction in our human existence outside of purchases and energy use. Vegetable gardening and bike commuting are the low hanging fruit.)
Here is where the energy is used and wasted in America. Waste is inherent. Electricity generation wastes about 2/3 of the initial heat energy, for instance. (This does not reflect the satisfaction, or meeting of complex human needs.)
America was a somewhat more efficient system in 1970.
Land Value Taxation was the proposal of Henry George, which made it through the House of Commons, but not The House of Lords, since the Lords owned land, and collected rent, which is like taxes. Classical Economic Theory disparaged rent-collection, because it was a drag on economic activity, and so sought to tax rent-collection, not tax production, so the economy would be more productive. Rent collection and debt service and taxes are all parasitic upon economic production. This article explains the concept of land value taxation, which would extend to all forms of rent-collection these days. The fact that it threatens rent-collecting interests, which control governance structures, and that it would need to be more complex, in our more complex economy, have kept this theoretical, not actual. This is what Neoliberal Economic Theory got rid of. Rent collection adds to GDP in that model. That's not real, though...
How decisions to go to war are really made in late-stage empire (US, f'rinstance)
First. Decisions are made based – not upon defense – but upon gaining economic and geostrategic advantage.
Second. A massive propaganda and demonization campaign is launched in order to drum up support for the war.
Third. We pull the trigger, reap whatever economic/geo-strategic benefits are to be gained, and ignore the rest.