RATIONING EARTH

ECONOMIC STRATEGY BY DESIGN

A radical, ecologically minded proposal to meet the future challenges of an increasingly productive but still unsustainable economy.

Debate about the global economy tends to splinter into those who champion growth and those who advocate environmental sustainability. However, debut author Bentz argues that continued prosperity and technological innovation are compatible with diminished consumption. The chief problem, as the author articulates it, is that an economic paradigm premised upon perennial overconsumption eventually leads to the depletion of resources, pollution, an uneven distribution of wealth, and even unemployment as increased productivity and automation eliminate jobs. The solution is a form of resource rationing—a globally imposed lower growth rate that takes into account the current high-production capacity, relatively high overall employment, and a system that assigns value to both capital accumulation and resource scarcity. The book comprises four parts: overconsumption, unemployment, distribution, and external costs. Our economy both produces and consumes too much and is less efficient and robust when assessed from the perspective of a proper metric (Bentz furnishes a notable critique of GDP as a barometer). Unemployment can be addressed by replacing a capitalcentric economy with one that focuses on labor; one of the best and most original contributions of the book is the discussion of dual time-based currencies that allow for a more efficient delivery of work for basic goods. Also, a fairer distribution of goods directed by the government needn’t be inefficient: “We can conclude that although a centrally planned economy is not a good idea, the universal distribution of a few essential commodities such as food, shelter, and healthcare can make an otherwise free market economy much more efficient.” Bentz’s solutions are aggressively reformist but also offered in a spirit of conciliation; he argues that the goal is not to eliminate capitalism but to chasten its worst excesses. The writing is mercifully lucid considering the technical subject matter, though the running reliance upon Hamlet’s famous Act III monologue—Bentz keeps reformulating the speech to illustrate his principal points—is unhelpful and contrived. Overall, though, the book is a rarity: a legitimately fresh but also politically moderate position that reorients the very terms of the conversation. An original take on the economics of resource conservation. 

Pub Date: Dec. 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4602-8095-9

Page Count: 312

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

Did you like this book?

more