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Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Common Sense Paperback – August, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Kumarian Press (August 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565492064
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565492066
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #856,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"For years, John Ikerd's writings and speeches have provided precious insights into the economics of this nation's food system, exploding the myth that factory farms are economically imperative. In this brilliant book, he makes a powerful case for a new capitalistic economy: one that is environmentally sound, socially just, and economically sustainable."

"In this highly readable, accessible, and provocative book, economist John Ikerd sets out an ambitious goal: to challenge neoclassical economics and to suggest a new way of achieving a sustainable economic system...Ikerd is a highly qualified and articulate critic who is up to this task.. This book performs a real service by convincingly stating that sustainable capitalism need not just be a limiting future and that government's role in the economy should involve more than simply protecting private property rights."

"This text is an easy and fascinating read. In many ways, it helped me better understand why Holistic Management is so effective and the importance of understanding the relationships within natural systems (including human systems)."

From the Publisher

Over the past half-century, capitalist economics has deviated from its original ethical and social purpose. Recently, capitalism has mutated into an amoral quest for economic growth at any cost. A relentless pursuit of profits and the "bottom line" poses a constant threat to civil society and the natural environment. The sustainability, indeed survival, of earth and the life upon it, is at risk under this brand of unfettered capitalism.

In order to maintain a new economics of sustainability, social and ethical values must be reintegrated into capitalist economics, thus restoring a sense of balance into the economic system that ensures that communities the world over will benefit and thrive. Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Common Sense suggests how capitalism can become a vehicle for these ends.

Both a penetrating critique of capitalism and an exploration of its vast and untapped potential for maximizing human welfare, Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Common Sense is written for a wide audience, including students and professors whose fields and interests embrace development, economics, ecology, sociology, and cultural anthropology. Those concerned with the future of our planet and the continued viability of global capitalism will regard this book as a vital addition to their libraries.

More About the Author

John was raised on a small dairy farm in southwest Missouri and received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri. He worked in private industry for a time and spent thirty years in various professorial positions at North Carolina State University, Oklahoma State University, University of Georgia, and the University of Missouri before retiring in early 2000. Since retiring, he spends most of his time writing and speaking on issues related to sustainability with an emphasis on economics and agriculture. He currently resides in Fairfield, IA with his wife, Ellen, two dogs, and two cats. Ikerd is author of Essentials of Economic Sustainability, Sustainable Capitalism, A Return to Common Sense, Small Farms are Real Farms, Crisis and Opportunity: Sustainability in American Agriculture, and A Revolution of the Middle. More complete background information and a wide selection of writings are available at http://web.missouri.edu/~ikerdj/ or http://www.johnikerd.com.

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dean Hulse on October 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
John Ikerd, author of Sustainable Capitalism: a Matter of Common Sense, trains his unique insight on a key problem of our time--that is, " ... maximum current growth, with little regard for future ecological or social sustainability." Ikerd's understanding of history and psychology, in particular, underscore his vision for a moral economic system. He rightly criticizes the topsy-turvy capitalistic system neoclassical economics has spawned--a dysfunctional system that exploits and extracts in the name of economic development. In short, Ikerd's book is a must read for all those who believe in a government empowered by the governed that works to restore competition and essential market controls, who understand that the "mechanistic worldview" and "reductionist philosophy" embraced by neoclassical economists are as dead as dinosaurs, and who are willing to make "conscious, purposeful decisions to care for each other and care for the earth as they care for themselves."
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joan Benjamin on November 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm one of those people that Ikerd mentions in his book who always thought economics and markets were topics that were too complicated to deal with. I took an accounting class and an ag. economics class in college (because I had to), then I basically avoided the subject.

Reading "Sustainable Capitalism" changed my thinking. I realized that not only could I understand the economic theories and systems Ikerd talks about, but I could also see why it was important to understand them, and that it is possible to change the current system. It's a very hopeful message!

Ikerd is very good at explaining the current economic system and what it could be. His common sense approach to creating a sustainable economic system makes it seem doable, even if it will involve a lot of effort. I feel like I have a framework to work from now. I'd like to see sustainable capitalism taught at all colleges and universities -- even high schools. I'm a convert -- I went from avoiding economics to actually being excited about what the future could hold.
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Format: Paperback
John Ikerd's Sustainable Captialism: A Matter Of Common Sense traces the modern change of capitalism from a political system driven by social purpose to one searching for economic growth at all costs. The sustainability of the planet is at risk under this new capitalism, and Ikerd provides a critique of this new order and a framework for restoring balance into world economic system, making capitalism not the enemy of these goals, but a means to an end.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Hill on November 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am relatively new to this subject and my background to economics is slim to none. John Ikerd presents a coherent and very common sense perspective on sustainable economics. I would highly recommend this book to folks who are interested in this subject. I would also warmly encourage folks to purchase this book new so as to support the author.

He came to our small private college to lecture to our fledgling environmental group and we had a great time and learned much.

Again, I would highly recommend this work as well as his other book entitled "A Return To Common Sense" of which I am still in the middle of reading.

Don't pass this book up! It will enrich your life!
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