“…an adequate and complete analytical description of economic processes cannot be obtained by the analysis of closed systems (e.g. circulatory processes of production and consumption or systems of partial and total equilibrium, etc.) but calls for a representation of what the process needs in the form of input and what it does to man’s environment by the emission of pollutants and the disposal of waste material.”

“…the economic process is not an isolated, self-sustaining process. It cannot go on without a continuous exchange which alters the environment in a cumulative way and without being, in its turn, influenced by these alterations.  In short, economic processes can be understood and must be represented for analytical purposes as radically open systems which exchange energy and matter with the environment in the course of which qualitative changes take place both with respect to the environment and the process itself.”

Karl W. Kapp, essay on The Nature and Significance of Institutional Economics in Kyklos, Vol XXIX, No. 2, 1976.


I have worked in and around politics and public policy for a good part of my life, and I now believe we can only rejuvenate our political system, end the widely felt apathy, frustration and cynicism of ordinary Canadians, and create the kind of good, public-spirited and long-term thinking we urgently need, if we undertake three important reforms:  end all corporate and for-profit lobbying; start capturing the real social, economic and environmental costs of commercial undertakings; and convene citizen assemblies to play an active part in the collective choices and resource allocation decisions presently made by a narrow stratum of public officials and corporate executives.