The New Economics of True Wealth

Schor, Juliet

Book - 2010
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
At a moment of ecological and financial crisis, bestselling author and economist Juliet B. Schor presents a revolutionary strategy for transitioning toward a richer, more balanced life. In Plenitude economist and bestselling author Juliet B. Schor offers a groundbreaking intellectual statement about the economics and sociology of ecological decline, suggesting a radical change in how we think about consumer goods, value, and ways to live. Humans are degrading the planet far faster than they are regenerating it. As we travel along this shutdown path, food, energy, transport, and consumer goods are becoming increasingly expensive. The economic downturn that has accompanied the ecological crisis has led to another type of scarcity: incomes, jobs, and credit are also in short supply. Our usual way back to growth-a debt-financed consumer boom- is no longer an option our households, or planet, can afford. Responding to our current moment, Plenitude puts sustainability at its core, but it is not a paradigm of sacrifice. Instead, it's an argument that through a major shift to new sources of wealth, green technologies, and different ways of living, individuals and the country as a whole can actually be better off and more economically secure. And as Schor observes, Plenitude is already emerging. In pockets around the country and the world, people are busy creating lifestyles that offer a way out of the work and spend cycle. These pioneers' lives are scarce in conventional consumer goods and rich in the newly abundant resources of time, information, creativity, and community. Urban farmers, do-it-yourself renovators, Craigslist users-all are spreading their risk and establishing novel sources of income and outlets for procuring consumer goods. Taken together, these trends represent a movement away from the conventional market and offer a way toward an efficient, rewarding life in an era of high prices and traditional resource scarcity. Based on recent developments in economic theory, social analysis, and ecological design as well as evidence from the cutting-edge people and places putting these ideas into practice, Plenitude is a road map for the next two decades. In encouraging us to value our gifts- nature, community, intelligence, and time-Schor offers the opportunity to participate in creating a world of wealth and well-being.

Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2010
ISBN: 9781594202544
Branch Call Number: 338.927 S374p 2010
Characteristics: 258 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm


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This examines economic growth and whether it is really viable and what are the alternatives.

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Jul 03, 2012
  • elwright rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Long on abstract recommendations, short on practical suggestions for how to accomplish them. For those who already believe, this book offers nothing new; for those who need to be convinced, it doesn't offer enough examples to make it appealing.

Mar 10, 2012

This is the best book I have read so far on the subject of our changing economic and ecological reality and what to do about it. It is especially rich in solutions that are do-able on a household scale and that may provide answers on how to thrive in these unpredictable times. It introduces many technological innovations that I was unaware of that make it possible to combine the best of both pre-modern and present economies. Particularly interesting to me are the parts about high-tech self-provisioning and the opportunities to create cottage industries that make very productive use of our time and labour. Very exciting!!!

Nov 20, 2010

I'm on page 13 and loving this book so far. I can't wait to keep reading. It goes slowly, since I'm the stay at home mom of two young children, but I'm excited to finish the book and perhaps discuss with others.


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