Originally published on July 4, 2017
5 out of 5 stars
What struck me as very consequential in the book by Tim Jackson is that in the two decades in Japan of low growth following good growth during the previous decades, life expectancy grew nicely.
Thus, the question the book explores is: Is GDP growth necessary for prosperity? It all depends on how one measures prosperity. Jackson says there should be a Subjective Well-Being measurement, kind of a middle ground measurement between a totally consumer material goods and a totally socially-oriented economy. Poorer societies do need more consumption to achieve basic human needs of hunger, shelter, etc., but having achieved those basic needs for most of its people, societies need less consumer goods consumption and more services - altogether maybe of lower monetary economic value.
The book does look at the 2008 financial crash and how it brought the world closer together, as needed, since one of the causes of the crash had been less economic coordination.
Bottom line, the book is excellent in showing GDP growth numbers alone can be very misleading in measuring prosperity. I recommend the book.