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For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy Toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  106 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Economist Herman Daly and theologian John Cobb, Jr. show how America's growth-oriented, over-industrialized economy has led to environmental problems, and offer new ideas to help alleviate some of these concerns. "A profound critiqueof conventional economic theories and policies...Highly recommended".--F2
Paperback, 496 pages
Published August 27th 1997 by Beacon Press (first published December 1st 1993)
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Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership
One of Cambridge Sustainability's Top 50 Books for Sustainability, as voted for by our alumni network of over 3,000 senior leaders from around the world. To find out more, click here.

For the Common Good is a wide-ranging critique of contemporary economic policies, covering international trade, population, land use, agriculture, industry, labour, taxation and national security. Although it sets out to challenge conventional economics, it is written in an accessible style and largely avoids speaki
The single most illuminating book I've read about economics. Daly and Cobb provide profound historical and philosophical (and even theological) context to the key issues and ideas that gave rise to the discipline of neoclassical economics, which comprises the dogmatic foundation and motive force of the current trajectory of our global political economy as it heads toward social and ecological catastrophe. Both a critique of the bankrupt ideology of contemporary economics and a guide toward build ...more
The Capital Institute
Daly provides a ‘blueprint’ for a decentralized economy built around small communities and makes specific proposals, including a tax on industrial polluters, worker participation in management and ownership, reduced military spending and a more self-sufficient national economy, with a lower volume of imports. Intended mainly for economists, the book essentially deconstructs neoclassical economic theory and creates a more ‘holistic’ model that pulls together the idea of the individual, the commun ...more
Aug 30, 2008 Franklin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: environment
I read this as part of an environmentalist reading group started by some people in Terra, a Chicago organization. I hated this book because it's the standard kind of outline of how we can fix the economy by making it more moral. See my comments on Bill McKibben's Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future.
An important and necessary, but not perhaps the most gripping book.
Matt Barlow
Unfortunately, I had to put this one down. While I was very excited to read this book based on it's premise, the writing was just too academic for someone like myself with little understanding of economics.
Josh Volk
Jul 29, 2008 Josh Volk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the first version of this. Great explanations of economics, what economist mean when they say things, and how people misinterpret. Good ideas on how to change things as well.
Jan 15, 2013 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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Herman Daly is an American ecological economist and professor at the School of Public Policy of University of Maryland, College Park in the United States. He was Senior Economist in the Environment Department of the World Bank, where he helped to develop policy guidelines related to sustainable development. While there, he was engaged in environmental operations work in Latin America. He is closel ...more
More about Herman E. Daly...

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“Even if we could grow our way out of the crisis and delay the inevitable and painful reconciliation of virtual and real wealth, there is the question of whether this would be a wise thing to do. Marginal costs of additional growth in rich countries, such as global warming, biodiversity loss and roadways choked with cars, now likely exceed marginal benefits of a little extra consumption. The end result is that promoting further economic growth makes us poorer, not richer.” 10 likes
“If nonsatiety were the natural state of human nature then aggressive want-stimulating advertising would not be necessary, nor would the barrage of novelty aimed at promoting dissatisfaction with last year's model. The system attempts to remake people to fit its own presuppositions. If people's wants are not naturally insatiable we must make them so, in order to keep the system going.” 6 likes
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