The Economics of Happiness
289 Pages
English

The Economics of Happiness

-

289 Pages
English

Description

We all know that money can't buy you love…or happiness, but we have been living our lives as though the accumulation of wealth is the key to our dreams.

Why, in spite of increasing economic prosperity over the past 50 years, are many conditions of well-being in decline and rates of happiness largely unchanged since the 1950s?

Why do our measures of economic progress not reflect the values that make us happy: supportive relationships, meaningful work, a healthy environment, and our spiritual well-being?

Economist Mark Anielski developed a new and practical economic model called Genuine Wealth, to measure the real determinants of well-being and help redefine progress. The Economics of Happiness shows:

  • How economics, capitalism, accounting and banking, which dominate our consciousness, can be reoriented towards the pursuit of genuine happiness.
  • How to rediscover the original meaning of the language of economics.
  • How to measure the five capitals of Genuine Wealth: human, social, natural, built and financial.
  • How nations, governments, communities and businesses are using the Genuine Wealth model to build a new economy of well-being.
  • How you and your family can apply the Genuine Wealth model in your lives.

Nautilus Gold Award Anielski's road-map towards this vision of flourishing economies of well-being will resonate with individuals, communities and governments interested in issues of sustainability and quality of life.


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Published by
Published 01 June 2007
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EAN13 9781550923414
Language English
Document size 1 MB

Legal information: rental price per page €. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

Exrait

AD VA N C EPR A I S E F O R The Economics of Happiness
I welcome Mark Anielski’sThe Economics of Happiness,an important contribu-tion to the vital and growing debate on how to re-define and measure wealth and progress. — HAZELHENDERSON, author ofParadigms in Progress: Life Beyond Economics and Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy
InThe Economics of Happiness,Mark Anielski has visualized an arresting and, importantly, a possible future, in which affluence will be measured in terms of more happiness and less stuff. That is a world to which all of us can aspire and for which we can work, for the sake of our grandchildren’s futures and theirs. Read and lift your expectations; a saner world is possible, and surely most desirable. — RAYANDERSON, Founder and Chairman of Interface, Inc.
Mark Anielski does a wonderful job in laying bare the difference between money and genuine wealth and relating them to our economic growth addic-tion. It sounds easy but we all need a lot of training in the use of economic concepts if we are going to be able to find a cure for the monetary madness in this world. — OSCARKJELLBERG, President & CEO, JAK Members Bank, Stockholm
An inspired and readable inquiry into an “oikonomia for the people.” Great questions, with a wealth of perspectives and insightful answers. — RAFFICAVOUKIAN, C.M., singer, author, ecology advocate, founder of Child Honouring
It is essential that we transform our societies from ones that worship greed into ones that are sustainable, compassionate, and peaceful.The Economics of Happinessprovides a rationale for beginning this journey immediately and of-fers a detailed methodology for measuring our progress along the path. — JOHNPERKINS,New York Timesbestselling author ofConfessions of an Economic Hit ManandThe Secret History of the American Empire
The Economics of Happinesswill spark an important discussion about one of the major challenges of our time: how to achieve a balanced, sustainable way of life, where notions of progress and genuine wealth are understood as being fundamentally interrelated. To help us on this journey, Mark Anielski points to the promise of transformational work in raising our understanding about a new perspective for how we conduct our present and future. — HON. ROYROMANOW, P.C., O.C., Q.C., Former Premier of Saskatchewan, Chair, Canadian Index of Wellbeing Network Board
If those who set the goals of society and measure success in reaching them behaved rationally, they would long since have ceased to use per capita Gross Domestic Product as the major guide. Until now there has been no full-scale study demonstrating this and developing a more appropriate alternative. WithThe Economics of Happiness,the last shred of justification for the exclusive focus on market activity is gone. If this focus is continued, that can only mean that those who profit from our wearing blinders control policy. — JOHNB. COBB, JR., theologian and co-author ofFor the Common Good
What is the purpose of our economy and our work if not to support happy lives?The Economics of Happinessshows how far we have drifted from that goal and details ways to get back on the path to happiness in our personal lives, in our businesses and in economic policy. — GIFFORDPINCHOTIII, Founder and President, Bainbridge Graduate Institute
ReadingThe Economics of Happinessis a real treat; it is not often that one finds ecomonics, philosophy and ethics brought together so closely. “Beggar the next generation” is no longer acceptable in resource policy. In other words, make room for ethics. That is the message throughout this book. — RT. HON. EDWARDR. SCHREYER, P.C., C.C., C.M.M., O.M., C.D former Premier of Manitoba, former Governor General of Canada
For far too long the economics profession has held sway over our society, and convinced us to worship the god of endless economic growth. In this power-ful, insightful book, Mark Anielski exposes how this approach actually stunts our growth and prevents us from achieving a life that is rich in all senses of the word. Breaking ranks with his fellow economists, Anielski shows how we can make the economy serve the interests of society, not the other way around. — LINDAMCQUAIG, author and journalist
Mark Anielski’sThe Economics of Happinessprovides an interesting and inform-ative look at money, economics, wealth and what it all means. The lessons in this book provide a timely guide as our society begins the paradigm shift away from crass consumer capitalism toward more sustainable economies and communities where people and the planet matter. — DEANKUBANi, Environmental Programs Manager for the City of Santa Monica
In these times, even the best of us are falling short in courageously charting new maps — and more importantly avoiding heading out without a map at all! Mark Anielski is a great pioneer of our time, andThe Economics of Happi-nessis “the emperor has no clothes” rallying cry our world so desperately needs. This book is a critical part of the architecture of a new system. It is a must read for anyone serious about living differently with each other and the planet. Quite simply — LOVE is the only true economics, and when we ex-press love it does not get used up, it multiplies. — ANITAM. BURKE, Sustainability Elder and former Senior Advisor to the Committee of Managing Directors at Shell International
The Economics of Happinesshelps organizations evolve from satisfying “Show me the money!” demands from shareholders to satisfying “Show me the gen-uine wealth!” demands from stakeholders. Mark Anielski has provided a timely guidebook for organizations undertaking that challenging journey. This book is a must-read for enlightened business leaders. — Bob Willard, author ofThe Sustainability Advantageand The Next Sustainability Wave
The Economics of Happinessjoins leading voices critical of the dominant econom-ic paradigm, but it does much more than this. Being a critic is easy enough, and so is dreaming dreams. But designing the practical and modelled path to connect the two in different and meaningful strategic alternatives, is the work of exceptional people, and I rank Mark Anielski as one of these. — PROFESSORMARILYNWARING, Institute of Public Policy, Auckland University of Technology
Mark Anielski is one of those rare Canadians, an economist/civil servant who cut loose from the system and became a true public servant. He did so by following his values. In so doing he changed his own life, and we are all the beneficiaries.The Economics of Happinesspushes economics back to its more honorable roots and, in so doing, shows us the way towards what is truly a new common wealth. — BOBWILLIAMS, Senior Research Fellow, Vancouver City Savings Credit Union
We live in a world where money, always a means for something else, has become a goal in itself. We need, now more than ever, an economic framework that helps us remember what economy is all about: careful use of life sustaining resources to ensure love and happiness. Why has no one thought to write such a book before? — KARL-HENRIKROBÈRT, MD, PhD, Founder of The Natural Step International, Adjunct Professor of Sustainable Product Developoment, Blekinge Institute of Technology
NEWSOCIETYPUBLISHERS
Cataloging in Publication Data: A catalog record for this publication is available from the National Library of Canada.
Copyright © 2007 by Mark Anielski. All rights reserved.
Cover design by Diane McIntosh. Photo: iStock.
Printed in Canada. First printing April 2007.
New Society Publishers acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP) for our publishing activities.
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-86571-596-7
Inquiries regarding requests to reprint all or part ofThe Economics of Happiness should be addressed to New Society Publishers at the address below.
To order directly from the publishers, please call toll-free (North America) 1-800-567-6772, or order online at www.newsociety.com
Any other inquiries can be directed by mail to:
New Society Publishers P.O. Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC V0R 1X0, Canada 1-800-567-6772
New Society Publishers’ mission is to publish books that contribute in fundamental ways to building an ecologically sustainable and just society, and to do so with the least possible impact on the environment, in a manner that models this vision. We are com-mitted to doing this not just through education, but through action. We are acting on our commitment to the world’s remaining ancient forests by phasing out our paper sup-ply from ancient forests worldwide. This book is one step toward ending global defor-estation and climate change. It is printed on acid-free paper that is 100% old growth forest-free (100% post-consumer recycled), processed chlorine free, and printed with vegetable-based, low-VOC inks. For further information, or to browse our full list of books and purchase securely, visit our website at: www.newsociety.com
NEW SOCIETY PUBLISHERS
www.newsociety.com
To my grandparents, who taught me the importance of frugality, giving and receiving.
To my parents for teaching me about integrity and hard work.
To my wife, Jennifer, who loves me.
To our children, Renée and Stephanie, who teach me to love unconditionally.
There is no wealth but life: life, including all its powers of love, of joy, and of admiration.
That country is the richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings.
That man is richest who, having perfected the functions of his own life to the utmost, has also the widest helpful inšuence.
John Ruskin 1819–1900
Contents
Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii Foreword, by Herman Daly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xv Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvii
Chapter 1: My Journey to Genuine Wealth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Learning about natural capital and sustainability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Encouraged by pioneering reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Beginning the work in Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Chapter 2: The Language of Wealth and Economics . . . . . . . . . . 15 What is wealth? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 What is value? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 What does it mean to be genuine and have Genuine Wealth? . . . . . . . 21 What is an economy? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Chrematistics (money) or oikonomia (life) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 What does it mean to be competitive? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 What is capital? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Life capital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Chapter 3: What’s Wrong with the Picture of Progress? . . . . . . . 27 The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Making money, growing poorer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 The Alberta GPI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Chapter 4: A Renaissance in Economics and Capitalism . . . . . . . 51 Economic ethics of ancient Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 China’sxiaokangphilosophy of moderation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 The European Middle Ages: An age of moderation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 The birth of accounting: Luca Pacioli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Awakening the true soul of capitalism?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Capitalism as a religion and spirit? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 A way forward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
ix