How Much is Enough?: Money and the Good Life

How Much is Enough Money and the Good Life A provocative and timely call for a moral approach to economics drawing on philosophers political theorists writers and economists from Aristotle to Marx to Keynes What constitutes the good life W

  • Title: How Much is Enough?: Money and the Good Life
  • Author: Robert Skidelsky Edward Skidelsky
  • ISBN: 9781590515075
  • Page: 182
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A provocative and timely call for a moral approach to economics, drawing on philosophers, political theorists, writers, and economists from Aristotle to Marx to Keynes.What constitutes the good life What is the true value of money Why do we work such long hours merely to acquire greater wealth These are some of the questions that many asked themselves when the financialA provocative and timely call for a moral approach to economics, drawing on philosophers, political theorists, writers, and economists from Aristotle to Marx to Keynes.What constitutes the good life What is the true value of money Why do we work such long hours merely to acquire greater wealth These are some of the questions that many asked themselves when the financial system crashed in 2008 This book tackles such questions head on The authors begin with the great economist John Maynard Keynes 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 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 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 It will not be ignored.

    • How Much is Enough?: Money and the Good Life by Robert Skidelsky Edward Skidelsky
      182 Robert Skidelsky Edward Skidelsky
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    About "Robert Skidelsky Edward Skidelsky"

    1. Robert Skidelsky Edward Skidelsky

      Lord Skidelsky is Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick His three volume biography of the economist John Maynard Keynes 1983, 1992, 2000 received numerous prizes, including the Lionel Gelber Prize for International Relations and the Council on Foreign Relations Prize for International Relations He is the author of the The World After Communism 1995 American edition called The Road from Serfdom He was made a life peer in 1991, and was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1994 He is chairman of the Govenors of Brighton CollegeRobert Skidelsky was born on 25 April 1939 in Harbin, Manchuria His parents were British subjects, but of Russian ancestry His father worked for the family firm, L S Skidelsky, which leased the Mulin coalmine from the Chinese government When war broke out between Britain and Japan in December 1941, he and his parents were interned first in Manchuria then Japan, but released in exchange for Japanese internees in England.From 1953 to 1958, he was a boarder at Brighton College of which he is now chairman of the board of governors He went on to read history at Jesus College, Oxford, and from 1961 to 1969, he was successively research student, senior student, and research fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford In 1967, he published his first book, Politicians and the Slump, Labour Government of 1929 31, based on his D.Phil dissertation The book explores the ways in which British politicians handled the Great Depression.During a two year research fellowship at the British Academy, he began work in his biography of Sir Oswald Mosley published in 1975 and published English Progressive Schools 1969 In 1970, he became an Associate Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies, John Hopkins University But the controversy surrounding the publication of his biography of Sir Oswald Mosley in which he was felt to have let Mosley off too lightly led John Hopkins University to refuse him tenure Oxford University also proved unwilling to give him a permanent post.In 1978, he was appointed Professor of International Studies at the University of Warwick, where he has since remained, though joining the Economics Department as Professor Political Economy in 1990 He is currently Andrew D White Professor at Large at Cornell University.The first volume of his biography of John Maynard Keynes, Hopes Betrayed, 1883 1920, was published in 1983 The second volume, The Economist as Saviour, 1920 1937 1992 won the Wolfson Prize for History The third volume, Fighting for Britain, 1937 1946 2000 won the Duff Cooper Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography, the Lionel Gelber Prize for International Relations and the Arthur Ross Council on Foreign Relations Prize for International Relations.Since 2003, he has been a non executive director of the mutual fund manager, Janus Capital and Rusnano Capital from 2008 10 he sat on the board of Sistema JSC He is a director of the Moscow School of Political Studies and was the founder and executive secretary of the UK Russia Round Table Since 2002, he has been chairman of the Centre for Global Studies In 2010, he joined the Advisory Board of the Institute of New Economic Thinking.He writes a monthly column for Project Syndicate, Against the Current , which is syndicated in newspapers all over the world His account of the current economic crisis, Keynes The Return of the Master, was published by Penguin Allen Lane in September 2009 A short history of twentieth century Britain was published by Random House in the volume A World by Itself A History of the British Isles edited by Jonathan Clark in January 2010 He is now in the process of writing How Much is Enough The Economics of the Good Life jointly with his son Edward Skidelsky.

    954 thoughts on “How Much is Enough?: Money and the Good Life”

    1. Overall, I found Skidelsky & Skidelsky's "How Much is Enough" to be an intellectually stimulating, engaging, and well-reasoned book. I think their call for a more moral understanding of economics is sorely needed, especially in an age when liberals and progressives all too often justify their recommended redistributive policies only on technocratic grounds like "increased productivity." My main gripe with the book, however, lies with the chapter on "Limits to Growth." I agree with them on th [...]

    2. The Skidelsky brothers have written a succinct book arguing that neoliberal economic ideology is failing the developed world. They suggest replacing the imperatives of economic growth and productive efficiency with an ethic of the ‘good life’, cobbled together from the democratic socialism of the mid-20th century, older philosophical works, and Catholic teachings. Although I’ve read other books with very similar central themes (notably Growth Fetish and I Spend Therefore I Am: How Economic [...]

    3. I've written a short review for CHOICE. Here I'll make some more specific comments.I expected, from comments I've read, a very poor argument for a wishy-washy romantic argument about the end of scarcity. Robert Skidelsky is the biographer of J. Maynard Keynes, who famously thought that the prospects for his grandchildren would be a world without scarcity. (Just this morning I realized that Frank Knight made a quite similar argument in the final chapter of The Economic Organization.) While there [...]

    4. Pretty uneven, and not particularly useful. It offered an interesting history of the evolution of thought behind the accumulation of wealth, or, why we collectively decided to continue to pursue more and more money and stuff instead of choosing leisure as an alternative. But what was missing (for me, anyway) was any semblance of explanation of how to get to the life they propose. If we decide to collectively exchange wealth for more leisure, what would the economy look like? Would it still be ca [...]

    5. This is a quirky, uneven book, but with enough good ideas to make it worth reading. What I liked was their exploration of why Keynes and everyone else who thought that abundance would bring a decline of work, have failed. I also liked their discussion of the basic income, which they recommend. Also good was the discussion of how we can really assess economies, if GDP is bankrupt and so is “happiness economics.” Their suggestion is by looking at basic goods such as health, respect, personalit [...]

    6. One-Minute ReviewWritten by Robert and Edward Skidelsky, How Much is Enough? is my favourite book of the year, and my only five-star rating on in 2012. The authors have crafted a philosophical discussion about our insatiable appetites for economic growth, which so far have ignored a key question: "To what end?" As students of John Maynard Keynes, the Skidelskys are all for economic growth through capitalism, but as a means not an end and certainly not at any social and environmental cost. I lov [...]

    7. I didn’t find this book particularly useful. There seemed to be an awful lot of generalised truisms thrown about without much in the way of evidence or examination. It characterised the affluent West as one homogenised wealthy mass enslaved by its constant consumption and that the path to freedom opens up if we could only stop buying rubbish. Which is presumably true of many but for the vast swathes of “JAMs” (Just About Managing) it’s a little fanciful a thesis. The focus was on consump [...]

    8. This book would seem right up my alley, and in most ways, it was. It is written by two philosophers, so it didn't suffer from the usual problems I find with popular-consumption econ books (though perhaps a philosopher reading it would find an analogous set of problems!).Skidelsky pere is the author of the preeminent biography of Keynes, and the motivation for the book is a well-known essay by Keynes in which he speculated on the economic future. Based on his projections of the growth of income, [...]

    9. Ekonomi üzerine yazılmış bir felsefe kitabı. Bazı bölümlerde rakamsal destekler olsa da ağırlık felsefe tarafında. Akademik alıntıları bol, bu alıntılara atıfta bulunarak yorumlamalar üzerine kurgulanmış bir kitap. Bu açıdan bakıldığında sıkıcı bölümleri fazla. Okumaya başlamadan önce arka sayfadaki 3 yorumu dikkatlice okuyun. Ve o yorumlara 2 dakikanızı ayırın. Kitabın içinde ne bulacağınızı veya bulamayacağınızı çok güzel özetlemişler.

    10. How much money do you need to lead a good life? What is the good life anyway? In their book How Much Is Enough? Robert and Edward Skidelsky try to get to the bottom of these and related questions.In 1930 the great economist Keynes said that by 2030 most people would work only 15 hours a week, devoting the rest of their time to leisure. Obviously he was mistaken in his assumption, and the authors show why and how he went wrong with his idea.There are many books dealing with economy and money, our [...]

    11. I’m sympathetic to the main argument of the Skidelskys’ book: that the pursuit of money (and economic growth) for its own sake is not only socially and environmentally destructive but also absurd. Without any social consensus on what money is for, we settle for perpetually chasing more of it, assuming this will enable us to achieve our individual (and widely varying) notions of fulfillment. The means has become the end, and there is no longer a place for the concept of “enough”. The Skid [...]

    12. Over the last 4 decades, we have seen a long list of books questioning or even attacking the pursuit of economic growth. From Mishan's "The Costs of Economic Growth", over the “Reports to the Club of Rome” to Tim Jackson's "Prosperity Without Growth", the list is long - and so is the list of rebuttals. A few years ago, the celebrated biographer of Keynes, Robert Skidelsky, and his son Edward have joined forces to write " How Much is Enough? The Love of Money, and the Case for the Good Life". [...]

    13. This fine, short book asks an excellent question. The father-son authors are, respectively, professors of economics and a philosophy. The book grew out of a discussion of a little known 1928 essay by economics heavyweight John Maynard Keynes, who predicted that if then current trends in technological progress and economic growth held steady, in 100 years we all would have everything we need and we would be working three hours a week. The two trends have exceeded his expectations, so what has hap [...]

    14. Not exactly a breezy read—a bit of a slog, to be honest—but well worth the effort. My recent interest in combining economics and philosophy led me to this book, which is an argument for restoring a moral basis to the 'dismal science,' and rescuing it from the dark corridors of utilitarianism. The premise of the book is: What is the good life, and how can we, as a society, attain it?I just finished it a couple minutes ago, so rather than a profound review or critique of the book, here's a qui [...]

    15. An interesting combination of philosophy, economics and social history, this book was an interesting, but very conceptually dense read. I read fast and it took me over 2 weeks to get through this one a few morsels at a time. The central question is that of what is needed for “good life”. In exploring this, the authors examine the Keynesian conceit that technology and advances would eventually reduce the working hours needed to no more than 10 or 15 hours a week. Clearly this has not happened [...]

    16. Hmm. I started off liking this book and thinking it was going to propose an interesting solution to our current economic dilemma. Unfortunately, I got more and more frustrated by the fact that the writers spent most of the book stating what (to me) seemed the bleeding obvious and then failed to come up with any viable solution.If you are one of the people who already knows that they have enough, then this book will not have much to say to you. If, on the other hand, you are one of the people who [...]

    17. This is a challenging book, not because the idea of a "good life" in a post-capitalist world is not attractive, it is, but because it is so difficult to define and the means to achieve this end are difficult to grasp. It is a book of ideas and explains them in their historical context. We have lost the morality of the pre-Adam Smith world but not yet reestablished a new morality. It would be unthinkable in Pre-Modern times to desire wealth and to consume the way we do. It no longer has a purpose [...]

    18. I went on holiday and somehow lost the book I took, a book about the environment and economics, very probable I left it on the airplane. So with only minutes to spare in the Spanish airport I managed to find this book. On picking it up I thought the question wasn’t really that relative to me, “How much is enough?”, because I clearly don’t have enough, and it’s unlikely I will have enough in the near future. Damn it. However I do have a deep admiration of Aristotle and the question of h [...]

    19. Main argument is that there is a point when we should just accept that we have enough amd stop pursuing more wealth, more consumption, just more in general. It is difficult to fault in principle, very hard to see how it is going to be made to work in practice and as with many books I don't see that the Skidelsky's solutions are as powerful as their critique. Also at several points they claim that arguments about sustainability aren't that convincing because we aren't into nature that much. They [...]

    20. Overall a very interesting book with ideas and views that I haven't considered before. It often strays and doesn't always succeed in connecting economy, philosophy and the history of literature.

    21. A lot to like, a lot to be excited by and a lot to enjoy (Faust as an allegory was fun) but also a lot to be frustrated by.In their own words, 'The thesis of our book is that the pursuit of money as an end in itself is bad not just because it is detrimental to happiness or the environmentbut because it is absurd. It rests on a misunderstanding of the nature and function of money. Money is essentially a means to the good; to treat its accumulation as an ultimate goal is to fall victim to a delusi [...]

    22. This book is dense, and is not necessarily a fast read, though it did significantly change my views on the world. As I described it, I didn't always want to pick it up, but every time I did, I read something that was really compelling. At some point, I will re-read it, and I have enjoyed discussing it with people I have recommended it to.It does force us to ask some tough questions about our lifestyles, how we use our resources, and what the "good life" actually means. I was left with an unsettl [...]

    23. The issues and arguments addressed in this book were thought provoking. We take it for granted that economy should grow in order to make our life better. But Robert and Edward Skidelsky remind us that it is merely because we have been so deeply dragged ourselves into capitalism system and being insatiable became quite normal state of our economic life. They reject both value-neutralism and value-relativism in their argument about good life, and place the good life itself as our goal based on a p [...]

    24. Addressing issues of systemic inequality and human insatiability, coupled with the earth's finite amount of resources, the Skidelskys tackle the many social and personal ills associated when a society commits to a growth-focused capitalistic economy. Focusing on Keynes' mistake, the qualities of what makes a "good" life, and the intangibles most humans dearly value in terms of life satisfaction, the authors strike a sometimes messy balance between ethics and morals while still making a convincin [...]

    25. A lot of interesting ideas, I think though there is a slight naivety about the hostility of world politics, he imagine s we will all come together to be rational and moral about these problems when i will tell you right now that what motivates most people is not being good, not doing what is right, but getting something for themselves and holding on to it at all costs. Difficulties raised by problems such as religious differences, wars over resources, immigration are hardly discussed. But to thi [...]

    26. Do we want economic growth at all? This is the central question in the book ’How Much is Enough?’ by father and son Skidelsky. Their key message? Economic growth is in itself meaningless. “Economic growth should be accepted as a residual, not something to be aimed at.”Keynes and AristotleHow Much is Enough begins with the vision of the great economist John Maynard Keynes. In 1930, he predicted that, in 2030, no one would have to work more than fifteen hours a week. Technological progress [...]

    27. Avrei preferito non un compendio delle teorie, ma un brillante saggio a cavallo tra economia e filosofia. Le domande lungo il testo sono stimolanti e in alcuni punti si trovano risposte - sulle quali si puo' concordare o dissentire, ma ad ogni modo è lodevole il fatto di averle proposte. ercavo qualcosa d'altro, qui soltanto sfiorato. Forse dovrei rileggere Bauman - forse cercavo Bauman a cavallo dell'economia. Forse dovrei smettere di cercare bottoni dove non li ho persi, solo perche' li' c'e' [...]

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