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4.0 out of 5 stars Life altering if not changing, 20 Jun 2010
Mark Stevens - See all my reviews
This review is from: Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth (Hardcover)
Plenitude gives a diagnosis of our current financial and environmental crisis and then outlines a way that we as individuals can come to terms with it and perhaps even flourish. For me, it was a mid-way point between Matthew Crawford's Shop Class as Soulcraft and Matt Ridley's controversial Rational Optimist. The former encourages a kind of skill led self-sufficiency, the latter an encouragement to specialization (along with some other weirdness). Plenitude seemed like a fitting end to this little trilogy, as it advances a way of living that is skill based, local yet globally aware and relatively pro technology. If like me you're skeptical of both hyper capitalism and Hobbit-like sustainability, you'll probably be interested in the thesis that Schor sketches out in Plenitude.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written and oh so timely, 19 Jun 2012
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The book is about a way of life that is attuned to the monumental shifts now taking place in the global economy, and the blindingly obvious reality that we cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet with finite resources.

There is overwhelming evidence from all around the world that more money and more possessions doesn't make you happy past a certain point where you have everything you need for a comfortable life. In our rush to earn and spend more, we've created a throw-away society that is completely unsustainable. We are working longer hours and are becoming increasingly stressed; we are buying more and more stuff that quickly becomes trash; and we are poisoning our planet to the point where we are quite literally on the brink of ecological collapse. For the most part we've also lost our connection to the earth, to our food supply, and to each other.

A common misconception is that this shift will entail a move 'backwards' to a way of life from centuries ago. Nothing could be further from the truth, and modern technology will play an absolutely central role in making this way of life a reality. Small-scale customised production, made possible by cutting edge tech like 3D printing, is far more efficient than industrial mass production of goods followed by transportation over vast distances. And we all know first hand that small-scale local agriculture produces far better quality food than industrial monoculture, which is only made possible by using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides that pollute our atmosphere and poison our land and waterways (not to mention then being wrapped in plastic and transported vast distances).

'True Wealth' highlights that there is another way - a way of life where we slow down, we make things that last and mend things that break, and we reconnect with our local communities. As well as being economically savvy/ fiscally intelligent, this way of life is thriving because it puts us back on the right path and makes us wealthy in ways that have little to do with money and consumption.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 Aug 2014
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Interesting book
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Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth
Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth by Juliet B. Schor (Hardcover - 13 May 2010)
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