Jeffrey Sachs recently wrote an article which is making its rounds on the web. The article can be read below this response written by John Page, the co-director of The Economics of Happiness, and ISEC’s Programs Director
“Mr. Sachs does well to point the finger at corporate capitalism, but provides little in the way of alternatives. Corporatization equals globalization, which itself is founded on the near-religion of ever-increasing global trade. The antidote? Economic localization. Not as an absolute or dogma, but as a central guiding principle of economic development. Sounds impractical? Well, it’s already happening. Watch the newly-released documentary, ‘The Economics of Happiness’, and get a flavor of the future. In an era of climate change and peak oil, economic globalization is simply unsustainable; we will have no option but to move in another direction. The good news is that as we decrease the scale of economic activity, we actually increase not only our own well-being but the health of the planet.”
“We live in a time of high anxiety. Despite the world’s unprecedented total wealth, there is vast insecurity, unrest, and dissatisfaction. In the United States, a large majority of Americans believe that the country is “on the wrong track.” Pessimism has soared. The same is true in many other places.
Against this backdrop, the time has come to reconsider the basic sources of happiness in our economic life. The relentless pursuit of higher income is leading to unprecedented inequality and anxiety, rather than to greater happiness and life satisfaction. Economic progress is important and can greatly improve the quality of life, but only if it is pursued in line with other goals.”