It’s productivity growth rather than the overall size of the economy, that drives improvements in living standards. Getting bigger doesn’t necessarily yield wealth; improving productivity does.”Juliet Schor
Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth | Juliet B. Schor
Our current economic system is based around infinite growth, and it is clear that our resources are finite. In a system based on trading ones time for money to indulge in consumer goods, fast spending and convenience that is becoming increasingly expensive, Plenitude offers a new way of thinking about how we live our lives and spend our time.
Schor exults transitioning to a richer, more balanced life by focusing on sustainability. By shifting to new sources of wealth such as green technologies, more sustainable and efficient practices, and focusing on incorporating mindfulness into our every day lives, we can grow not only as individuals but as an economy towards a better future.
Schor discusses how there is an increasing number of people removing themselves from the work-spend consumer cycle and demonstrating more mindful and sustainable ways to live. It’s not about sacrifice and ‘going without’, but rather desiring to simplify ones life and be content with less individual material possessions, and more community focus.
An Example is the FIRE community, and their creative and resourceful use of their time, information, creativity and community. Whether that is using technology to buy and sell second hand items, Urban farming, efficient forms of investing in the economy or learning skills online to ‘in-source’ (such as home or car repairs), these people are pioneering examples of self sufficiency leading. They are able to live more efficiently on a much smaller footprint, whilst still contributing and investing heavily in the econom. They live a rewarding life away from the conventional work-spend economic cycle; an example of living plenitude.
By shifting our focus away from being consumers and looking more toward valuing nature, our communities, intelligence and time, Schor discusses the economics of true wealth.