Friday Flashback: Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Economics

working togetherA lot of people are intimidated by the vocabulary and complexity of economics, so when many of the dangerous myths of traditional economics are espoused (e.g. economies of scale, that the market is democratic and nearly ‘perfect’, that ‘free’ trade benefits all, that wealth ‘trickles down’ etc.), they have no basis to counter them.

There are several economists who have debunked the nonsense of traditional economics and sketched out alternative economic principles and methodologies that actually work to the benefit of people and the environment. I have written about three of these gurus of social and environmental economics, Herman Daly. Thomas Princen and Richard Douthwaite:

If you want to know how to debate with traditional economists and politicians who still spout GDP and official unemployment rates as the measures of a healthy society, you owe it to yourself to familiarize yourself with this subject, and the work of these three individualswill get you started.

If you want to explore Douthwaite’s ideas in more detail, consider Peter Brown’s book The Commonwealth of Life, which lays out principles and duties for stewardship of Earth and its natural resources.

And if you want to get a step ahead of me, pick up a copy of Canadian economist Mark Anielski’s new book The Economics of Happiness (forward by Herman Daly).

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