This excerpt has been adapted from Kate Raworth’s book Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist (Chelsea Green, 2017) and is printed with permission from the publisher. Now available in paperback and audio.
Seven Ways to Think Like a Twenty-First-Century Economist
Whether you consider yourself an economic veteran or novice, now is the time to uncover the economic graffiti that lingers in all of our minds and, if you don’t like what you find, scrub it out; or, better still, paint it over with new images that far better serve our needs and times. The rest of this book proposes seven ways to think like a twenty-first-century economist, revealing for each of those seven ways the spurious image that has occupied our minds, how it came to be so powerful and the damaging influence it has had. But the time for mere critique is past, which is why the focus here is on creating new images that capture the essential principles to guide us now. The diagrams in this book aim to summarise that leap from old to new economic thinking. Taken together, they set out—quite literally—a new big picture for the twenty-first-century economist. So here is a whirlwind tour of the ideas and images at the heart of Doughnut Economics.
First, change the goal. For over 70 years, economics has been fixated on GDP, or national output, as its primary measure of progress. That fixation has been used to justify extreme inequalities of income and wealth coupled with unprecedented destruction of the living world. For the twenty-first century, a far bigger goal is needed: meeting the human rights of every person within the means of our life-giving planet. And that goal is encapsulated in the concept of the Doughnut.
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