HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH: THE ECONOMICS OF THE GOOD LIFE by Robert and Edward Skidelsky
How Much Is Enough? is that rarity, a work of deep intelligence and ethical commitment accessible to all readers. It will be lauded, debated, cited, and criticized.
For this book, Robert Skidelsky is working with his son Edward Skidelsky – Edward is also an academic, but in the field of aesthetics and moral philosophy, as opposed to economics, and he writes for the New Statesman, Telegraph and Spectator. This book, therefore, is for a different, much wider market than Robert Skidelsky’s works on pure economics. Together, father and son are addressing some of the questions ordinary people the world over have been asking ourselves since the financial system crashed in 2008 – from a philosophical and economic perspective – such as what constitutes the good life? What is the true value of money? Why do we work such long hours merely to acquire greater wealth? In 1930 Keynes predicted that, within a century, per capita income would steadily rise, people’s basic needs would be met, and no one would have to work more than fifteen hours a week. Clearly, he was wrong: though income has increased as he envisioned, our wants have seemingly gone unsatisfied, and we continue to work long hours. The Skidelskys explain why Keynes was mistaken. Then, arguing from the premise that economics is a moral science, they trace the concept of the good life from Aristotle to the present and show how our lives over the last half century have strayed from that ideal. Finally, they issue a call to think anew about what really matters in our lives and how to attain it.
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