Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Small is Beautiful (E.F. Schumacher)

Today was the day of my economics exam, so to feel less guilty about reading, I decided to read the only economics book I borrowed: Small is beautiful.

This book brought me a lot of laughter: from others. Because of my height (or lack of it), the phrase small is beautiful took on new dimensions. But, it was still an interesting read(:

This book makes the claim that current economic models don't take into account welfare, and asks for decentralised control and no nuclear energy (I think). The subtitle of the book is "economics as if people mattered", which succinctly sums up the entire book: putting people, rather than profit first.

This book is actually more like a very long speech, or a series of lectures to me, considering how the tone and style of the book mimics a speech very closely. To me, that was the hardest part in reading and understanding the book, because for me, I'm not very good at reading speeches, and tend to turn off.

Like some reviewers say, this book tends to be naive, but wonderfully so, looking at how we can change the world (after castigating what's wrong with the world now of course). It's very much a typical treatise/proposal, but what separates it is it's content.

The only issue I have with the book is the chapter titled "Buddhist Economics", which uses the 8-fold path to illustrate economic principals. Astonishingly, he purports to be a Christian... Despite the fact that Siddhartha by Herman Hesse is one of my literature books, I still cannot see how different religions can co-exist. I'm not referring to religious tolerance (which I strongly support), but religious plurality (which I think is logically impossible).

But still, this book is wonderfully refreshing and 'uneconomic'(:

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