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Doughnut Economics Paperback – 8 May 2017
|Paperback, 8 May 2017||
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"I read this book with the excitement that the people of his day must have read John Maynard Keynes’s General Theory. It is brilliant, thrilling and revolutionary. Drawing on a deep well of learning, wisdom and deep thinking, Kate Raworth has comprehensively reframed and redrawn economics. It is entirely accessible, even for people with no knowledge of the subject. I believe that Doughnut Economics will change the world." (George Monbiot, author and Guardian columnist)
"What if it were possible to live well without trashing the planet? Doughnut Economics succinctly captures this tantalising possibility and takes up its challenge. Brimming with creativity, Raworth reclaims economics from the dust of academia and puts it to the service of a better world." (Tim Jackson, author of PROSPERITY WITHOUT GROWTH)
"Can anyone seriously suppose that today’s economic orthodoxies are going to bring the world back from the brink of chaos? We need to fundamentally rethink the way we create and distribute wealth, and Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics provides an inspiring primer as to how we must now set about that challenge. I hope it ushers in a period of intense debate about the kind of economy we now so urgently need." (Jonathan Porritt, author of THE WORLD WE MADE; founding director of Forum for the Future)
"This is truly the book we've all been waiting for. Kate Raworth provides the antidote to neoliberal economics with her radical and ambitious vision of an economy in service to life. Given the current state of the world, we need Doughnut Economics now more than ever." (L. Hunter Lovins, president and founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions)
A renegade economist offers a greener, fairer, safer way to think about the global economySee all Product description
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What does economics teach? Precisely nothing! In 1922, John Maynard Keynes, perhaps the greatest genuine economist of the last century, said: "The theory of economics does not furnish a body of settled conclusions immediately applicable to policy. It is a method rather than a doctrine, an apparatus of the mind, a technique of thinking, which helps its possessor to draw correct conclusions".. But since then economics has become a system of doctrines with different schools fanatically claiming the ultimate status. Whatever the school, they all share 7 common characteristics:
- faith in unending growth, GDP as the index of economic growth and prosperity
- market as a self contained mechanism
-man as a rational economic animal
- economy will return to/ function in equilibrium, left to itself.
-growth will automatically remove inequality
-growth will automatically/eventually clean up the environment
-growth is necessary, therefore must be possible
This is the basic structure of economics that is taught in the academic circles. The emphasis on the components may vary, depending upon whether one is left, right, centre or nowhere, but this is the substance of the main economics course in the universities.
When we were in the University we were not allowed to question this gospel. But those of us who dared to study outside the prescribed textbooks, became increasingly distressed. In the late 60s, E.J.Mishan taught us to look at the "costs of growth" and the persisting "fallacies". Gandhi taught us to look at "needs', not "wants". Schumacher taught us to look at economics "as if people mattered". Donella Meadows urged us to look at it from the systems point of view.The UN Environment Conference at Stockholm in 1972 asked us to look at "the care and maintenance of a small planet". Herman Daly, Hazel Henderson and others told us that unending growth was not possible in a finite planet. Many empirical studies showed that growth invariably led to great inequality, while GDP which was supposed to measure growth actually did a poor job of it. Even the author of this measure. Simon Kuznets said that GDP was not meant to measure welfare or well being!
Mainstream economics profession ignored all this and blissfully continued to teach its stuff !
But a stage has now come when we have to recognise unmistakable signs of distress on the global scale. This involves not just growth, but the very survival of homo sapiens!
Doughnut Economics brings together insights from a stunning range of disciplines to show what has been wrong with the economic models we have been following, the assumptions we have made, the measures we have adopted, the theories we have been teaching, the ideas we have been nurturing and propagating, the public policies we have pursued. The most basic mistake we made is to assume that the economy was an independent system, while in fact it is an open subsystem embedded in the closed system that is planet earth.. Human ingenuity has to be used to solve the many problems humanity faces, but this has to be done realising our utter dependence on the planet's capacities and limitations. The author incorporates a wide array of details and insights from the latest research from many fields. That itself shows how economics is so dependent on a number of cross disciplines for its validity. The great merit of Kate Raworth's book is that while it does point out a wide range of wrongs we have done to the planet and ourselves,, and the serious situation we are in, it is not alarmist in tone or approach. It does hold out hope, so long as we would not continue to be slave to doctrines. as upholders of some defunct theory of dead economists , as Keynes said. We may still mend our ways!
This is an important book. The professional economists are like hardened criminals- they will not change their mindset so easily. But this book is important to the citizen, who is more than a mere consumer or homo economicus, to save us from the clutches of economists!
Explains the reasons why the current economic models that we live and operate in are dysfunctional . The manner in which inequity and exploitation are embedded in them is clear for all to see .
Also debunks the basis on which economic growth is currently viewed based on GDP growth and other partial metrics that do not present the complete picture or are not relevant to all
Presents a detailed alternative which places human beings and natural resources - and their sustenance and rejuvenation - at the centre of the 'Doughnut Economy'
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