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Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train: Errant Economists, Shameful Spenders, and a Plan to Stop them All Paperback – August 1, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"[Czech] breaks down complex concepts . . . into easy-to-understand and informative terms."--"The Compendium Newsletter"
Top Customer Reviews
To get right to the heart of the matter--which Czech does after noting that economic growth is a national goal; that is, a political and (one might say) an emotional goal somewhat in the manner of "manifest destiny" from the nineteenth century--we need to ask why Simon (and other respected economists) think that such a fantastic thing as perpetual economic growth is possible.
First they start with "substitutability," the idea that when we run short of some resource another will be developed or otherwise come along to take the place of the now scare resource. Thus plastic replaces wood; coal will replace oil, wind power and mirrors in space will replace coal, and farmed fish will take the place of the wild variety. Second, there is the notion that the efficiency of engines and other technological developments will increase endlessly. And third, there is the relatively new idea of "human capital," a kind of fuzzy--one is tempted to say mystical--belief that human intelligence, education and knowledge will just keep right on growing and growing and growing, getting more and more from less and less.
Perhaps these guys never heard of entropy or diminishing returns--or they think that such things are so far in the future that they needn't be mentioned.Read more ›
From his early doctrine of "competitive exclusion" (one species can benefit only at the expense of others) to his methodical and progressive dismantling of economic growth as an unquestioned political goal, of the prevailing economic theories as being totally insane (efficiency does not prevent the depletion of natural capital from a limited earth), to his sensible and moral and provocative outlining of the ecological economics (or the economics of environmental survival), this is a book that teaches and this is a man I would trust to counsel a future President....
This book will appeal to anyone who considers himself or herself a Cultural Creative, and I hope it appeals to the "silent majority" that could yet make a difference in "political economy." Whether we save the Earth for future generations boils down to this: are the citizens of the various nations, the employees of the various corporations, prepared to think for themselves? Are they prepared to join the global grid of free thinkers and cyber-advocates that are finding that the Internet is the lever that will move the world and empower the people once again? The author argues, in a compelling, academically sound and morally encouraging way, that America above all nations finds itself in a new civil war, a war between the "liquidating class" and the "steady state" class.
Besides citizens, this book will provoke and enlighten venture fund managers, political action campaign managers, and leaders of any organization.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Used at Western Washington University in 2011. This book was very different from most books used in my business classes so it was somewhat refreshing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bria J
The link between human well being and economic growth may be the most dangerous fantasy propagated in our modern culture. Read morePublished on June 6, 2014 by Aaron Z Witham
Had to read this for a senior-level college class on business ethics....It is the ramblings of a flat-earth, no-growth Marxist. Read morePublished on May 24, 2014 by MannyRamerizJr
A somewhat odd write up criticizing mainstream neoclassical economics and its focus on endless growth as a legitimate goal for society. Read morePublished on February 11, 2014 by ian710
On page 192 of his very excellent book The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century James Howard... Read morePublished on September 13, 2012 by watzizname
This book is an excellent introduction to the steady state economy. The idea of the steady state economy has been around for decades, but I think it may finally be gaining some... Read morePublished on November 2, 2005 by Paula L. Craig
While the first part of the book provides compelling reasons for re-examining how we view economic policy, you can find all the same arguments better explained within the... Read morePublished on October 24, 2004 by C. Magee
Brian has really impressed with his thoughtful analysis of our economy from both an intellectual and spirtual viewpoint. Read morePublished on May 2, 2004 by Mark D. Schaeffer
The first 106 pages of the book are well written and present a number of interesting notions about the dangers of our society's high regard for economic growth. Read morePublished on January 3, 2004