Deep Economy

Bill McKibben’s book Deep Economy is a powerful read.  I’m not generally one for economics, but this book had me rivetted to the page.  I read it on the heels of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and elaborated many of the notions that motivated her.

Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future

His premise is this: having More is no longer Better.  He bases this not just on intuition, but also on a lot of social science data.  So instead of chanting Adam Smith’s continuing mantra of "Growth, growth, growth," we– we being neighborhoods, towns, cities, states, nations, and the world– need to explore a "deep economy."  A deep economy is one that is local and sustainable.

The first third (or so) of the book is social science research to back up his claim that More does not equal Better.  (He also mentions the reality that there are many places in the world where people still don’t have enough.  For them, more is still better.) The second two thirds address what we do next.  His examples of local economies are simultaneously anecdotal and compelling.

This book is an excellent resource for those of us Christians who cannot stomach the reality that our having More means our Christian brothers and sisters elsewhere cannot afford Enough.

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