Beyond Poverty and Affluence: Toward a Canadian Economy of Care
Beyond Poverty and Affluence argues that, like a virus which has developed an immunity to the cure, the problems of poverty, environmental degeneration, and unemployment today successfully resist the remedy of growth in industrial production. Bob Goudzwaard and Harry de Lange demonstrate that over the last several decades the solutions used by industrialized nations either have not helped or have dramatically exacerbated these problems. Instead, these predicaments have become structural features of today's economic practice. The authors formulate an alternative, which they call the economics of care, and propose a twelve-step program for economic recovery in Canada.
Goudzwaard and de Lange contend that poverty, environmental damage, and unemployment have a common origin: they emerge from structural flaws in classical and contemporary neoclassical economic thought, including that of Adam Smith and Karl Marx. Drawing on thinkers as diverse as RenT Girard and Hannah Arendt, on numerous Canadian sources, and on their own Christian tradition, the authors propose a `pre-care' economy, which places care needs first on its list of priorities and only then addresses the scope of production, rather than a 'post-care' economy, which pursues maximum consumption and production above all else. They also describe in detail structural changes the Canadian economy will need to undergo to become an economy of pre-care. Included in their discussion is an assessment of the progress of `sustainable development' in Canada, including the work of the federal and provincial roundtables on environment and economy, and a proposed framework for setting Canadian government finances on a durable foundation.
The twelve economic proposals the authors put forward deal with such issues as international currency creation, the environment, the foundation of labour/management relations, the funding of social programs, wage and salary development, the scope of production and technological development, the structure of economic decision-making, the direction of government funding, and the dropping of trade barriers in North America and Europe.
- Page Count: 174 pages
- Dimensions: 5.9in x 0.5in x 8.8in
'Bob Goudzwaard and Harry de Lange bring a vision of realistic hope to a troubled cynical age. They give lie to the jaded belief that economic growth with an accompanying rise in income will one day automatically reach the ends of the earth and the poorest people therein. They then go on to develop the elements of an economy of care and twelve feasible steps towards reaching it. I recommend their work enthusiastically.'
William F. Ryan, SJ, former General Secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
'May this book force all of us to confront the problem of our time: that we are doomed if we hold fast to an economic system based on consumption and unrestricted exploitation of the earth's resources.'
The Honourable Christine Stewart, MP, Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa)
'The issues are dealt with convincingly and extensively. The book presents enough ideas to convince us of the importance of pursing a way of life which not only takes into account the significant problems of the day but also contributes to their solution.'
Jan Tinbergen, Nobel Prize-winning economist
'A challenge to all segments of society to join in creating an ethos of inclusion, a culture of "enough" and a commitment to stewardship which give priority to the needs of all people, of this generation and those that follow.'
John R. Evans, chairman of Tor Star Ltd, head of the Rockefeller Foundation
'A powerful and empowering book!'
Calvin B. DeWitt, Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Director of the Au Sable Institute, Michigan
'North Americans have a lot to learn from these two Dutch economists'
Herman E. Daly, University of Maryland; former Senior Economist, Environment Department, World Bank
Author InformationBob Goudzwaard, a former member of the Dutch parliament, is Professor of Economics and Social Philosophy at the Free University of Amsterdam. He is a consultant for Citizens for Public Justice, a Canada-wide advocacy organization based in Toronto, and he is author of several books.
Harry de Lange is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Utrecht. For many years he was the president of Holland's highest profile Development Cooperation Agency, and has published widely there on topics related to economics and social justice.
Mark Vander Vennen (MA, MEd, RSW) is a writer and social worker living in Ontario, Canada.
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