The world's leading economies are facing not just one but many crises. The financial meltdown may not be over, climate change threatens major global disruption, economic inequality has reached extremes not seen for a century, and government and business are widely distrusted. At the same time, many people regret the consumerism and social corrosion of modern life. What these crises have in common, Diane Coyle argues, is a reckless disregard for the future--especially in the way the economy is run. How can we achieve the financial growth we need today without sacrificing a decent future for our children, our societies, and our planet? How can we realize what Coyle calls "the Economics of Enough"?
Running the economy for tomorrow as well as today will require a wide range of policy changes. The top priority must be ensuring that we get a true picture of long-term economic prospects, with the development of official statistics on national wealth in its broadest sense, including natural and human resources. Saving and investment will need to be encouraged over current consumption. Above all, governments will need to engage citizens in a process of debate about the difficult choices that lie ahead and rebuild a shared commitment to the future of our societies.
Creating a sustainable economy--having enough to be happy without cheating the future--won't be easy. But The Economics of Enough starts a profoundly important conversation about how we can begin--and the first steps we need to take.
"In The Economics of Enough, Ms. Coyle adds a knowledgeable and earnest voice to the discussion about how to face these global challenges. . . . Ms. Coyle has written a thoughtful, sprawling work. I was impressed with both the magnitude of the subject matter and her keen grasp of it. . . . Ms. Coyle has made an important contribution to the debate on the nature of global capitalism."--Nancy F. Koehn, New York Times
"If widely read, [The Economics of Enough] could be the twenty-first century's basic action manual. Like the best political philosophers, Coyle does not merely present the gritty reality of politics (or political economy, in this case), but gives us a roadmap out of our collective swamp. . . . [T]he book is a small wonder."--Joel Campbell, International Affairs
"If Diane Coyle had written The Economics of Enough a year or so earlier, a British political party would probably have laid claim to its message during the general election campaign. Coyle's work manages to tie up fiscal policy, inequality and the environment with reflection on civil society. . . . Coyle makes a particularly effective assault on the view, often espoused by environmentalists, that economic growth ought not to be a policy goal. While she calls for other objectives--and the use of a greater range of economic indicators--she backs output growth as an objective. . . . [A] solid guide to the challenges that face governments in the coming years."--Christopher Cook, Financial Times
"[Coyle's] insistence that the crisis is essentially one of trust and governance is important--and increasingly relevant as we watch our leaders failing to tame our reckless financial overlords."--Fred Pearce, Independent
Table of Contents:
PART ONE: CHALLENGES
CHAPTER ONE: Happiness 21
CHAPTER TWO: Nature 55
CHAPTER THREE: Posterity 85
CHAPTER FOUR: Fairness 114
CHAPTER FIVE: Trust 145
PART TWO: OBSTACLES
CHAPTER SIX: Measurement 181
CHAPTER SEVEN: Values 209
CHAPTER EIGHT: Institutions 239
PART THREE: MANIFESTO
CHAPTER NINE: The Manifesto of Enough 267
Illustration Credits 327
This book has been translated into:
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Diane Coyle: