Economics sometimes seems to be stacked against social, environmental and individual well-being. But it doesn't have to be like this. A new approach to economics - deriving as much from Ruskin and Schumacher as from Keynes or Smith - has begun to emerge. Skeptical about money as a measure of success, this new economics turns our assumptions about wealth and poverty upside down. It shows us that real wealth can be measured by increased well-being and environmental sustainability rather than just having and consuming more things. This book is the first accessible and straightforward guide to the new economics. It describes the problems and bizarre contradictions in conventional economics as well as the principles of the emerging new economics, and it tells the real-world stories of how new economics is being successfully put into practice around the world. An essential guide to understanding new economics for all those who care about making economics work for people and planet.
Table of Contents
1. The Economic Problem 2. No Wealth but Life: A Brief History of the New Economics 3. Measurement: Why is an Apparently Poor Pacific Island at the Top of the Happy Planet Index? 4. Money: Why did China Pay for the Iraq War? 5. Markets: Why has London Traffic Always Travelled at 12mph? 6. Life: Why do Modern Britons Work Harder than Medieval Peasants? 7. Resources: Why are Cuban Mechanics the Best in the World? 8. Trade: Why Does Britain Import the Same Number of Chocolate Waffles as it Exports? 9. Community: Why do Fewer People Vote when there is a Wal-Mart Nearby? 10. Debt: Why are Malawi Villagers Paying the Mortgages of Surbiton Stockbrokers? 11. The Future Appendix A: From the Ashes of the Crash: 20 First Steps from New Economics to Rebuild a Better Economy Appendix B: New Economic Tools and Techniques
David Boyle is a fellow at the New Economics Foundation (nef). He played a leading role in the launch of time banks and is an author and journalist, with publications including Funny Money, The Tyranny of Numbers and Authenticity, The Little Money Book, The Money Changers, Blondel's Song and The Sum of our Discontent. Andrew Simms, author of Tescopoly, is policy director at nef and a commentator on issues like climate change and 'clone town Britain'. His other publications include Why Good Lives Needn't Cost the Earth and Ecological Debt.
'We face climate change, resource scarcity and economic turmoil. If all we do is complain, and seek to soften the edges of a flawed economic system, we'll end up complaining over a cliff. We need a new economy and this book creates an inspiring, believable vision of what it can be. Read it.' Caroline Lucas MEP, leader of the UK Green Party 'It was a joy to see that The New Economics consciously builds on the strong British moral and intellectual tradition of Ruskin, Belloc, Chesterton, and Schumacher. A revival and extension of this line of thinking was long overdue.' Professor Herman Daly, author of Steady-State Economics and recipient of the Honorary Right Livelihood Award (Sweden's alternative to the Nobel Prize) 'A brilliant and much-awaited book - we need Earth-sized economics, and this is a great start to understanding what's possible and why it's needed. The government needs to make it compulsory reading for every secondary school student. Graduates will find it a wonderful way to re-learn the basics.' Safia Minney MBE, Founder of People Tree 'The New Economics offers a bold and sustainable vision based on justice, not exploitation. An important call to arms.' John Hilary, Executive Director, War on Want 'This book presents a serious challenge to conventional econcomics, in particular what constitutes real wealth and the role of banks in creating or destroying it. It brings together ideas that lead to joined up solutions not sacrificing the environment in pursuit of unlimited growth and demonstrating how to increase the real quality of life for all mankind not just the privileged few.' Charles Middleton, MD, Triodos Bank UK 'This well-written, inspiring, and compact compendium is essential reading for everyone who really wants to understand what went wrong with the global economy, and what we could be doing to make it right.' Alan AtKisson, author of The ISIS Agreement and Believing Cassandra 'Provocative, timely and incisive, The New Economics exposes the failures of conventional economic thinking with humour and wisdom, and sets out the essentials of a vibrant new economy for a just and sustainable 21st century.' Oliver Tickell, Author, Kyoto2 'Through the use of engaging stories and analysis, The New Economics shows how we can, and must, look at the world in a very different way centred on people, not profit, if we are to create a sustainable future for us all.' Jessica Fries, Project Director, Accounting for Sustainability, The Household of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall 'By twisting together the green shoots of economic unorthodoxy, The New Economics points the way to a more sensible way of doing things. ... I enjoyed it immensely.' Christian Hunt, Lead author of the Climate Safety report and Managing Director of Cheatneutral 'An excellent guide to concept of the new economics' Treehugger 'The value of this book is that it explores key economic theories through storytelling... it it doesn't just point to slightly depressing realities. Instead each chapter ... explores some New Economics-inspired solutions.' New Start Magazine 'Entertaining, eye-opening and very clearly written.' Core77.com 'The New Economics makes fascinating reading. It is must read book for anyone dismayed by the way market economics has driven us to the wall... Without doubt, it is an immensely readable book that has a visionary appeal.' Sudhirendar Sharma, D-sector.org 'Wide-ranging and intriguing connections'. Tom Morrison, Fellowship, 2009. 'Inspiring book.' Terrence Fernsler, NonProfit World, March/April 2010. 'This book is a much-needed challenge to the dominant 'Neo-liberal' or 'Washington Consensus' version of economics'. Brian Leslie, Sustainable Economics, December 2009. 'There is a new coherence and energy behind much of this thinking - which is well explored in this book.' Rob Greenland, founder, Social Business Consulting, NewStart, December 2009. 'Presents a guide to the new economics, which measures wealth in terms of increased well-being and environmental sustainability rather than just having and consuming more things.' Journal of Economic Literature, June 2010. 'They write engagingly...the book seeks to develop principles for a more sensible way forward.' Frank Stilwell, Australian OPTIONS 'Readable, concise, and informative book presents the most comprehensive account of the 'new economics' written to date' Emily Huddart Kennedy, Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy. 'getAbstract recommends this prescription for better economic well-being to policy makers, corporate heads and politicians who are eager for an expanded, humanistic view of the economic future' getAbstract 'This book, by two of its leading members, selects and summarises some 40 years of research and writing for the benefit of the 'general reader'' Denis Gildea, Sofia Magazine