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Customer Review

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong on Objectives, Light on the Economic Implications of Reaching them, 20 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet (Hardcover)
I believe in the idea of prosperity without growth. The basic logic is simple and overpowering. Limited planet and resources, global warming, growing population, gross international inequality, happiness not related to ever higher wealth levels. I get it and I like the idea even more thanks to this book.

But my primary reading interest / background is economics, and for my personal taste the weakness of this book is the gap between the admirable goals based on viable objectives, and the realities of the competitive international economic trading system.

Most people care about these progressive issues, but also most people feel more forcefully other basic factors affecting their economic existence. When unemployment rises, a priority of the whole country rightly becomes reducing it. I recognise the need to move away from free market capitalist globalisation as much as anyone, but you need a coherent economic stance which physically engages with trade relationships, not just a set of worthy objectives and values.

For example, consider if this book succeeded in persuading all of Britain to follow these aims of less growth, less inequality and greater focus on environmental issues. Our companies would be in danger of being beaten in competition with foreign companies playing by the old rules, and fighting over smaller stagnant domestic markets. Our workers would become more expensive. Opportunities for sound investment in this country would be shrinking. (God I sound like a proper prophet of the dismal science right!).

My opinion is that a book that proposes radical disengagement from the basic rules of competitive capitalism, (which I support), should prioritise in its content details of how it is going to manage the international disadvantages and potential unemployment such a move will cause. In my personal opinion, these kind of progressive issues cannot be feasibly discussed without thoughts on trade in general and protectionism in particular being included as necessary to counteract the handicapping effect of practising less ruthless pure competition.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Feb 2013 21:15:20 GMT
Rob Julian says:
Any Keynes fans out there?

Read / download this essay for free. "Keynes on the Slump: A Guide to Keynes' Thoughts During the 1929-32 Crisis, with a Focus on International Relationships and Protection."

Google:- Keynes on the Slump scribd
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