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Customer Review

104 of 115 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bringing Sociology to an Economic concept, September 3, 2013
This review is from: Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much (Hardcover)
There's a passage from the introduction where the authors tell a colleague about their research for this book, and the colleague replies, "There's already a science of scarcity. You might have heard of it. It's called economics." The authors then go on to defend why their particular focus is unique, though I must admit I was skeptical too. I just didn't see how this subject would go from the abstract to something nearer to my own experience. Fortunately, my concern was unfounded. Some fancy-sounding words are thrown about (tunneling, bandwidth and slack, for example, sound more mathematical than not) but how they're applied in real life is what makes the study of scarcity practical and familiar.

I've had a saying for years now, "When you're up and life's going your way, the choices are easy. It's the choices you make when you're down on your luck or in failure's grip that says the most about your character--about who you really are." This book is a partial scientific explanation about why this is true. The sections on poverty, especially, demonstrate just how limited the choices are for the poor. Certain groups of people--those in positions of power, the wealthy, the well-educated--they simply have more resources to weather the bumps in life.

I recommend this one. The playing field may never be leveled though that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. What's important is that in the process of doing so we need to be aware that everyone faces life's problems from different starting points and often with a wide variety of advantages and disadvantages.
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