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Charles Eisenstein begins this bold and well written book examining why innovation, labor saving devices, and all of the earth's bounty fail to deliver prosperity to most of the people. “After centuries of technological advances, why do we find ourselves working just as much as ever?” he asks, before observing: “For centuries, futurists have predicted an imminent age of leisure. Why has it never happened? The reason is that, at every opportunity, we have chosen to produce more rather than to work less. We have been helpless to choose otherwise.”
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His solution is an economic system that integrates these seven features:
“Each tree cut down and made into paper, each idea captured and made into intellectual property, each child who uses video games instead of creating worlds of the imagination, each human relationship turned into a paid service, depletes a bit of the natural, cultural, ...
“When you hear the phrase “rescue the financial system,” translate it in your mind into “keep the debts on the books.” They are trying to find a way for you (and debtor nations too) to keep paying and for the debt to keep growing.”
The commons, including land, forests, fresh air, clean water, ocean fisheries, minerals, biodiversity, the genome, and the electromagnetic spectrum, all existed prior to human activities. There is no legitimate right to any private ownership claim to these natural resources. Yet these co...
Money is created as interest bearing debt. When the interest rate is greater than zero, the debt always exceeds the available money. Servicing the resulting debt requires constant economic growth. Growing the economy requires transforming something that began as a gift from nature or the communit...
“When everything is subject to money, then the scarcity of money makes everything scarce, including the basis of human life and happiness. Such is the life of the slave—one whose actions are compelled by threat to survival. Perhaps the deepest indication of our slavery...
“A fundamental premise of this book is that human beings naturally desire to give. We are born into gratitude: the knowledge we have received and the desire to give in turn. Far from nudging reluctant people to give unto others against their lazy impulses, today’s econ...
Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. Today, these trends have reached their extreme - b...
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