This question on sustainable economy has received a close-vote.

Is this site about sustainability in the narrow sense (resources of the Earth), or does it include sustainability in the wider sense: economic sustainability (e.g. an economic system that can be sustained without inevitably collapsing), social sustainability (e.g. not depleting human resources)?

The site name, sustainable living, does not really indicate either way.

Edit: here is another economic question.

2 Answers 2


Sustainable economy should be on-topic. Economic policies as they relate to other issues of sustainability should be. Family-level economic strategies for sustainability should also be.

Wikipedia is clear that economy is a significant piece of the sustainable living domain.

But it appears that the question on sustainable interest is likely to spark debate rather than simple answers. Is that a problem with the question or with those answering it? Seems to me that answering the question "Yes, interest is sustainable and here's why..." and then not engaging in the back and forth prevents any unpleasantness. Then, that question and it's answers are out there and if others ask similar questions, we can call it a dupe, refer people to the original and close them. Why is that a worse approach?

  • 2
    I do not disagree so long as the questions are constructive. Debate over economic policy, wether it will work, if it is good, etc is not constructive. Both of the questions listed are not constructive debate questions.
    – user141
    Feb 6, 2013 at 20:33
  • @Chad, I think it's tragic that on these stack exchange sites, debate can be asserted to be not constructive. Debate based on unsubstantiated assertions is one thing (vote those answers down). Competing answers, that offer substantiated claims, or evidence, is absolutely constructive, and crucial for good policy making (at the macro or micro level).
    – Nate
    May 5, 2013 at 2:02

The problem with that particular question is that it's based on a false premise. It is, however, a premise that's achieved a lot of traction across the interwebs, particularly from the crankonomics crowd. As such, this question will become a real magnet for the Austrian Schoolers and others who will just use the question as a platform to troll on.

And money per se is just a medium of exchange. And now that it's almost entirely digital, there really isn't a sustainability aspect to it. There might have been once, when most money was paper and/or metal, but those days are gone.

So whereas I do agree that there are real, constructive, on-topic questions that will relate to economics, I don't think this particular one is. A very similar question was rather unconstructive during the commitment stage.

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    I'm not familiar with the phrase crankonomics, but the question you link to is completely valid and I don't think the premise is false at all. Also, it's not a premise to the question: it is the question.
    – gerrit
    Jan 30, 2013 at 10:30
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    I don't think a question being based on a false premise should be grounds for closure. I think that's a great reason why it should be allowed. An answer that debunks a false premise would then be a very useful answer. I think environmentalism in general is choc full of peoples' false premises, and a good Q+A site should help fix that. Also, I don't think the question was really about whether having to physically print or coin more and more money is sustainable. I read it as asking whether the system encouraged unsustainable growth in the broader economy: non-financial goods/services.
    – Nate
    May 5, 2013 at 1:57

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