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Economic efficiency is described as the ratio of economic outputs to economic inputs. This is analogous to mechanical efficiency, which is power (watts, horsepower etc.) output over power input. Since much economics these days has the look and feel of "the study of business," outputs are understood to be the goods (products and/or services) produced by a business, and inputs are understood to be things (assets) the business spends money on, evidently as means to the end of creating these products.

I propose the nomenclature "minimalist efficiency" as a measure of a type of (or perhaps a take on) economic efficiency, viewed from the consumer rather than producer POV.

For now, let's define minimalist efficiency as outputs divided by inputs as with rival efficiencies. Here's how I propose defining "minimalist output" and "minimalist input:"

  1. Output is measured in human beings. The purpose here is minimalist, so naturally we aren't talking about number of humyn beings produced. It isn't about number of humyn beings consumed, either. Remember, the motivant for minimalism in efficiency evaluation is consumption by, not of humyns. (See fair use) The schema for measuring "magnitude" of output should reflect minimal humyn consumption needs, such as peer reviewed empirical data concerning minimum daily requirements of nutrients, or other parameters of individual humyn survival, such as temperature range. For obvious ethical reasons, research of interest should reflect physical requirements of healthy humyn living, not minimal requirements of nonlethality. Minimalist output, then, is the number of humyn beings who can be supported (austerely, but not punitively so) for one unit of time on a given "market basket." The second is the SI unit of time and therefore probably the most arithmetically straightforward to integrate into databases collated from disparate sources.
  2. The "amount" of input should be a "measurement" of the amount of normative compromise (see norm spec) incurred in obtaining the market basket used to "calculate" effective input.
  3. </o L> Obviously, our "definition" of output is complicated and our "definition" of input is both abstract and subjective. It seems unlikely that there will soon be an empirical instrument capable of measuring quantities thus defined in scalar units such as watts, joules, pounds, shillings, ounces, etc. So far, the approach I have taken to the problem of efficiency has come from the jargon of finance rather than economics. I have been exploring the use of efficient frontier analysis. This is a technique that has been invented apparently for negotiating between competing objectives. The textbook presentations of the subject with which I am most familiar deal with investment objectives, specifically the pursuit of income and the avoidance of risk. The concept also seems to apply to design objectives, as evidenced by the presence of optimization theory as part of the discipline of engineering.

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