Speth argues that aggregate economic growth is no longer improving the lives of most Americans and suggests that in some ways it is making individuals worse offenvironmentally, socially and psychologically. It is said that growth is goodso good that it is worth all the costs, that somehow well be better off, says Speth, We are substituting economic growth and more consumption for dealing with the real issuesfor doing things that would truly make us better off.
The book calls for measures that provide for universal health care and alleviate the devastating effects of mental illness; guarantee good, well-paying jobs and increase employee satisfaction, minimize layoffs and job insecurity and provide for adequate retirement incomes; introduce more family-friendly policies at work, including flextime and easy access to quality child care; and provide individuals with more leisure time for connecting with their families, communities and nature.
My hope is that all Americans who care about the environment will come to embrace these measuresthese hallmarks of a caring community and a good societyas necessary to moving us beyond money to sustainability and community, he says. Sustaining people, sustaining naturethey are just one cause, inseparable.
Speth writes that Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the dollar value of all goods and services produced by the economy, is a poor gauge of human well-being or welfare. The book cites studies showing that throughout the entire period following World War II, as incomes skyrocketed in the United States and other advanced economies, reported life satisfaction and happiness levels stagnated or even declined slightly.
Speth says that these studies suggest the need for a radical rethinking and reordering of societys pri
|Contact: David DeFusco|