Betterness: Economics for Humans is a powerful call to arms for a post-capitalist economy. Umair Haque argues that just as positive psychology revolutionized our understanding of mental health by recasting the field as more than just treating mental illness, we need to rethink our economic paradigm. Why? Because business as we know it has reached a state of diminishing returns - though we work harder and harder, we never seem to get anywhere. This has led to a diminishing of the common wealth: wage stagnation, widening economic inequality, the depletion of the natural world, and more. To get out of this trap, we need to rethink the future of human exchange. In short, we need to get out of business and into betterness.
©2011 Umair Haque (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp
"Haque's writing is exciting, motivating, and infectious. Yet it's also practical. He examines a handful of companies that focus on building human potential and nurturing our collective welfare, and he shows how they are doing it." (Paul Diamond)
It started a little bit "slow", but by the end it had definitely caught my attention.
Although I really liked the overall idea, I started the book a bit skeptical. The (maybe unnecessary) use of uncommon or plainly made up words also added to my initial discomfort. Maybe this is another good idea that just won't work because it isn't practical, I thought. Now, I think I was wrong!
As the book develops, things start to add up and make sense. The author argues that some of the changes are already under way, and then he makes you think by citing examples of companies that are already looking forward and not only making changes, but bringing changes to their customers and the community. That's when I started realising that I've already noticed some changes myself, but I haven't yet connected the dots.
The book is short, and good enough so that it's worth listening to so that you can judge it for yourself, whether you agree with the author or not. But one thing I think is for sure, this short book will make you think.
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