Plenitude: the new economics of true wealth

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Scribe Publications Pty Limited, May 31, 2010 - Nature - 272 pages
18 Reviews

At a moment of ecological decline and continuing financial uncertainty, best-selling author and economist Juliet Schor offers a revolutionary strategy for changing how we think about consumer goods, intrinsic value, and ways to live.

Earth, we have a problem: humans are degrading the planet far faster than they are regenerating it. This is leading to increasingly expensive food, energy, transport, and consumer goods. As well, the economic downturn that has accompanied the ecological crisis has led to another type of scarcity: incomes, jobs, and credit are also in short supply. But our usual way back to growth — a debt-financed consumer boom — is no longer an option that our households or our planet can afford.

Plenitude deals with these challenges by putting the need for sustainability at the core of its response. But this is not a paradigm of sacrifice being offered — instead, it’s an argument that, through a major shift to new sources of wealth, green technologies, and different ways of living, we can become better off and more economically secure.

Around the world, small groups of people are already busy creating lifestyles that offer a way out of the work-and-spend cycle. These pioneers’ lives are scarce in conventional consumer goods, but rich in the newly abundant resources of time, information, creativity, and community. This trend represents a movement away from the conventional market, and offers a way toward an efficient, rewarding life.

Plenitude is a road map for the next two decades. In encouraging us to value our gifts — nature, community, intelligence, and time — Schor offers all of us the opportunity to participate in creating a world of enduring wealth and well-being.

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Review: Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth

User Review  - Katharine Rudzitis - Goodreads

This would benefit from an updated version, but otherwise the ideas are sound and compelling. Read full review

Review: Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth

User Review  - Margaret D'Anieri - Goodreads

This is the best book I've found that addresses the false assumptions in our economy that drive environmental degradation and the need for economic growth as measured by GDP (woefully inadequate on ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Juliet Schor’s research has focused on the economics of work, spending, the environment, and consumer culture. She is the author of Born to Buy, The Overworked American, and The Overspent American. Schor is professor of sociology at Boston College, a former member of the Harvard economics department, and a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient. She is also a co-founder of the Center for a New American Dream, an organisation devoted to ecologically and socially sustainable lifestyles.

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