EPUB Ö MOBI Prosperity Without Growth î Economics for a Finite Planet Ä NATURALTREATMENT

BOOK è Economics for a Finite Planet Æ Tim Jackson

Prosperity Without Growth Economics for a Finite PlanetTraditional Chinese edition of Prosperity Without Growth Economics for a Finite Planet The book addresses the most important economic premise t Although as a longtime environmentalist I'm a member of the choir that this author is preaching to I found myself resisting much of what he was saying and I certainly could not imagine that a gung ho pro growth climate change skeptic would be moved by the arguments presented in this book My main takeaway was the realization of just how far apart people can be who are supposedly on the same teamFor one thing I had problems with the style and presentation of the book The heavy use of sentence fragments made me feel I was reading an expanded PowerPoint presentation and the pervasive presence of weasel words like clearly is a sign of the weakness of the supporting argumentsI was frustrated with the author's fence sitting I was expecting to find at a minimum a clear alternative definition of prosperity but this I did not get at least not that I can recall Instead there were repeated statements to the effect that our future idea of prosperity will have to include such things as But the author felt that coming down too definitely on exactly what should be done or how was beyond the scope of what one book his book anyway could doMuch of the book is concerned with providing suggestive evidence that alternative ways of measuring our economic activity and success are feasible But too often for my taste this evidence consisted of the tentative findings of various social scientists based on mushy things like opinion surveys To me this is not science in any useful sense for I have little doubt that like expert witnesses in court cases other soft scientists could be found to offer evidence supporting different or even contradictory conclusions Only hard science physics and chemistry carry conviction and there's very little of that in this bookWhat was most troubling to me was the author's faith in government as the solution to our global ecological economic crisis My alarm bells first started ringing early on when the author says that although the bailouts of financial firms in the crisis of 2008 were used to fund multimillion dollar bonuses for those firms' executives politicians had no choice but to intervene in the protection of the banking sector This reader for one believes that politicians did have a choice Can we possibly believe that there was no choice but to borrow billions of dollars in my name and use it to reward their cronies for losing such stupendous sums of moneyThe bold visionary change needed to bring a new world economy into being will never arise from such feckless and fatalistic acceptance of government as it is currently practiced As far as I can tell governments are responsible than anyone for the ecological harm that has been wrought on planet Earth It is governments after all who subsidize Big Oil and pay people to destroy fisheries and mow down rainforests Private interests of course could still accomplish these things but not so uickly or so completely as when they receive government handouts to do so Canada would still have a cod fishery if its government had not paid people to extirpate it The idea that the Stephen Harper government in Canada might lead us toward a ecologically responsible economics would make me laugh if it didn't fill me with such bleak hopelessness Our governments rule us; they don't lead us Our leaders that is the people we spontaneously wish to follow will have to come from the grass rootsThis book was at its best and most interesting when the author was at his most wonkish He spends time discussing GDP and the euations with which it's calculated But although I found this interesting and informative I don't think that a bold new prosperity based economics can emerge from such technical futzing Maybe if we can tweak these euations a bit My overall impression is that although the author talks about vision he sees and treats the uestion of changing the economic basis of our society as a technical one to be solved ultimately by academics and bureaucrats Even the attitudes of us consumers which according to the author must fundamentally change are really the responsibility of those same bureaucrats who must construct the institutions and incentives that will cause the livestock oops citizens to behave in the right way Mr Jackson sees a thoroughly socialist society one in which the evils of capitalism with its promotion of consumerism via an unpleasant thing called novelty have been overcome as the most likely means of getting to the sustainable Earth we need to live on In this view a benign dictator or a benign oligarchy will shepherd us to the Promised Land of a prosperous sustainable socially leveled EarthOf course the author does not say that not in so many words But to me it is the necessary implication of a world in which the state is even bigger than it is today As though our real problem were a lack of right thinking technocrats And if people won't stop their neurotic pursuit of novelty they will have to be forced won't theyOur future and our prosperity are not technical uestions They are uestions of principle of ideas; they are philosophical uestions and they need to be discussed at this level We do need a new idea of prosperity but that idea needs to be clear and definite and it needs to be communicated with passion and conviction by men of vision and integrity our future leaders whoever and wherever they are That was never the mission of this book but this book could have been and should have been a stone for the sling of one of those leaders and I'm afraid it just isn't

Tim Jackson Æ Economics for a Finite Planet DOC

Hat continued prosperity and growth in a finite world is unsustainable So where do we go from here Tim Jackson is Sustainable Development Commi In these post 2008 times of perpetual recession and economic uncertainty governments around the world remain obsessed with maintaining economic growth Never again must we anger our free market gods and their fickle invisible hand they say But why is this Why do our market economies reuire perpetual growth to be healthy And why does our society assume greater wealth will bring us greater well being These are two fundamental uestions Tim Jackson sets out to address in his popular economic work Prosperity Without Growth Economics for a Finite Planet 2009 Acknowledging the dire implications of material growth for perpetuating ongoing ecological crisis Jackson proposes we retrofit capitalism in drastic ways and fundamentally challenges the assumption that perpetual growth is necessary for enjoying a lasting prosperity Interestingly despite the book’s potentially subversive prescriptions the endorsements of significant mainstream figures can be seen plastered across the cover and beginning pages His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales offers one among five forewords and the book’s opening pages are filled with those punchy sound bite reviews which often introduce mass market paperbacks A dry academic work this is not; Jackson is out to sway the masses So what is the catch How does a proposal to radically reorganize society along ecologically conscious lines draw conventional endorsement Ecological crisis is increasingly hard to ignore and Jackson’s reasonable prescriptions for transition are the key to his popularity Unfortunately while these suggestions weave a desirable path to sustainability I would argue they address only a partial truth Indeed its accessible reformist critiue of capitalism might be both the book’s greatest strength and its greatest weakness Jackson’s is a noble goal and contributes to a long tradition of alternative economists attempting to answer a big uestion How do we organize society to maximize the common good while maintaining social and environmental health and stability Considering our current circumstances Jackson argues that our ability to formulate solutions is contingent on adeuately deconstructing the ‘common sense’ of both perpetual growth and consumerism Jackson acknowledges that growth is central to competitive consumer oriented liberal economies but insists that ‘capitalism isn’t a single homogenous entity” He points to examples of authoritarian and coordinated market economic models whose industries are primarily privately owned but tend towards stagnation rather than growth A commonly held moral evaluation of growth as ‘good’ and stagnation as ‘bad’ has us dismiss the potentialities of stagnation based steady state economies He describes a modern capitalism entrenched in an ‘iron cage of consumerism’ whose dialectic of profit imperative and consumerism drives the engine of growth In a competitive market the profit imperative motivates firms to produce better cheaper products and services driving a perpetual process of innovation and ‘creative destruction’ Complementary to this is a consumer demand based in a complex social logic euating greater wealth with greater status and prosperity However growth stems from an important contradiction Firms achieve efficiency by gradually replacing human labour with technological innovation In order to maintain a consumer market to which products and services can be sold new sites of investment must be tapped and new jobs created expanding both production and consumption ad infinitum Jackson proposes there is a way around this He argues that while the profitconsumer dialectic is impossible to decouple from material production it is nonetheless an unnecessary feature of a market economy Alternatively his ecological macro economics proposes to halt growth in three important ways 1 respond to the replacement of labour with technology by reducing the working week and sharing the remaining hours across society; 2 diminishing the importance of consumerism as a driver of growth in favour of a new focus on investment in restorative renewable social practices; and 3 transition human labour practices based in material production to labour practices based in services However he also acknowledges that these transitions will need to rely on state interventions reducing ineuality through progressive taxation and basic incomes; curbing consumer culture for example by banning advertising to children; protecting key resources and ecologies by nationalizing productive industries; fostering public spaces and spheres; and reducing the mobility of capital and labour through a Tobin tax and localized incentives It becomes clear that Jackson has a very interesting understanding of capitalism He describes his model as ‘less capitalistic’ rather than socialist a word which never appears in his text and here we see the strategy of his work Prosperity Without Growth is a convincing argument for socialism couched in capitalist terms Indeed Jackson’s main divergence from conventional socialism perhaps lies in his transitional model He envisions a reformist transition to capitalism lite inspired by changing cultural values and ecological necessity As reasonable as these reforms sound I argue it leaves some problematic realities unsaid A report produced at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year states that the world’s 85 richest people control as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population Shin 2014 Faith in the reform model puts a disproportionate onus on those with power to in

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EPUB Ö MOBI Prosperity Without Growth î Economics for a Finite Planet Ä NATURALTREATMENT Ð Traditional Chinese edition of Prosperity Without Growth Economics for a Finite Planet The book addresses the most important economic premise that continued prosperity and growth inSsion's Economics Commissioner and Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey In Chinese Distributed by Tsai Fong Books I The truth is that there is as yet no credible socially just ecologically sustainable scenario of continually increasing incomes for a world of 9 billion people In this context simplistic assumptions that capitalism’s propensity for efficiency will allow us to stabilize the climate or protect against resource scarcity are nothing short of delusionalSo what do we do Tim Jackson argues that GDP is an entirely inadeuate measure of prosperity and well being and that self evidently infinite growth is impossible on a finite planet calling instead for an entirely new ecological macro economics It’s a relatively short and punchy argument technical in places but never too dull or high brow and while I’m no economist I’m wholeheartedly persuaded But I found the book provoked a couple of strong emotional reactions in meFirstly vertiginous worry at the scale of the problems we face Jackson is really arguing for fundamental change across our economy society governance our entire way of life He’s not wrong and he’s clearly writing with a sense of optimism but it actually leaves me wobbling about on the edge of despair He was writing in 20089 when in the aftermath of the financial crisis it seemed like the right time to be talking about fundamental change and that there might be a once in a hundred year appetite for real change But five years on and what has changed either in our economic systems or in our fundamental approach to the environment Next to nothing it seems to me In the UK we couldn’t even take the obvious opportunity to connect post crisis recovery to the development of a new sustainable infrastructure through a ‘Green New Deal’ Contrast South Korea allocating 80% of its 38bn post crisis recovery funds to green projects to the UK’s allocation of 7% of a 30bn fund If we can't seize an opportunity like that what will drive us to actionMy other emotional response on reading the book was just bitter regret that when the electoral and financial pass the parcel came to an end in 2008 10 it was Labour left holding the bomb Jackson reminds us in the book that it’s the role of the state to protect public goods the natural environment is a public good and therefore the solution lies in government not less I know I’m being naive and obviously it’s entirely pointless to spend time considering the counter factual but I can’t help but wonder what an incoming and angry left of centre government might have done differently in terms of those connections between economy and environment if the crisis had hit during a Tory administration But as it is we’ve just got the Tories and business as usual their faces pushed back into the trough