E. F. Schmacher, British Economist best known to the U.S. public in the 1970’s with publication of Small is Beautiful and Small is Possible, developed economic models based on scale. His basic idea: past a particular size, true profit declines and true costs rise – thus the title “Small is Beautiful.”
He also clarified that shared ownership of the means of production is key to equitable distribution of wealth and development of healthy communities.
The New Economic Institute (previously the E.F. Schumacher Society) includes several excellent videos and articles by new economics thinkers and teachers. Go to the link and take time to listen or read. These visionaries describe likely scenarios about where our cultures and global community are moving with economic collapse around the world and with climate changes continuing to play havoc with community resiliency.
Profitability as the sole goal of corporate behavior is addressed by Neva Goodwin, Tufts University. She discusses Walmart’s discovery that being ecologically responsible is profitable. However, her discussion is realistic about the kind of deep change that is necessary and how the likelihood of many people being harmed again by corporate excesses is predictable. She offers a way to use corporate charters to shape corporate behavior. Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) is a group she cites that is using a new community led strategy that creates municipal ordinances. These ban corporate control of land, water, and other natural resources that are critical to life and health. How can we make money and profits flow to the most responsible companies that protect human and ecological well being? Many examples of new economic structures are described using real companies that ARE making a profit while doing good in society.
One thought on “E.F. Schumacher – Why We Need Him Now”
I hope to get back to this article by Freeman House soon. But from what I read now, there are huge difference from what we mean by climate change and changes in climate experienced incrementally over centuries. The most obvious difference is time–we are reaching a tipping point, even without massive ice sheets melting off the land into the ocean. Maybe most significantly, we are more arrogant, more confident that we are masters of the universe. This makes us vulnerable in a new, modern way.