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   Enough is enough
Reviewed by Sudhirendar Sharma
30 Jul 2013
ent of the world's population survives on less than $2 a day and yet mankind's ecological footprint is 50 per cent larger than global ecosystems can accommodate. Clearly, few have 'more' whereas a sizeable number continues to scrape just 'enough' for survival. The focus of Enough is Enough is not as much on inequitous progress as on the idea of steady-state economy for ensuring that everyone has 'enough'. While defining 'enough' could be context specific, authors Rob Dietz and Dan O'Neill instead detail out where all we have had 'enough' - from population expansion to waste production; from growing inequity to mounting debt; and from expanding unemployment to collapsing economies. Far from being pessimists, the authors find it hard to avoid feeling worried about the future we face.

Enough is Enough is a book of hope! It diagnoses facets of 'enough' in its varied manifestations before issuing 'prescriptions'. Unless indicators such as the ecological footprnts, income inequality and happy life years do not replace 'gross domestic product' as a measure of progress, the world will eventually become an ouroboros, a snake eating its own tail. The illusion of economic growth, measured as GDP, can never pull the poor out of poverty because it takes a minimum of $166 increase in global production & consumption for raising an extra $1 for the poor. At such a rate, there can never be 'enough' for everyone!

Instead, the world needs a shift from its current obsession 'make consumption our way of life', and replace 'disposable' with 'durable'. Only then a shared prosperity could be achieved. The book explores specific strategies for each of the challenges the consumptive society faces. After laying down near-perfect diagnosis of the problem, the authors specifically examine 'what could we do instead' followed by 'where do we go from here'. Each of its prescriptions is evidence-based and pragmatic. These are as real as actionable!

Rob Dietz and Dan O'Neill argue for a 'beyond growth' debate because we have waited enough for an economy whose goal has consistently been 'more'.

Enough is Enough
by Rob Dietz and Dan O'Neill
Routledge/ Earthscan, UK
Extent: 240, Price: US$ 12.71

 Other books reviewed by Dr Sudhirendar Sharma
Features > Book Shelf
Spoiling Tibet
Posting Date: 28 Feb 2014

A Journey in the Future of Water
Posting Date: 28 Feb 2014

Yamuna Manifesto
Posting Date: 28 Feb 2014

Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

Lead View
People, Partition and the Pain
By Rina Mukherji
15 Aug 2013

Dr Jayanti Basu's book analyzes the complex feelings of hatred and longing for the homeland that have contributed to shaping the personalities of a generation of people who were forced to ..
Book Shelf

Yamuna Manifesto

A Journey in the Future of Water

Spoiling Tibet

On Western Terrorism
Devinder Sharma
Carmen Miranda
Pandurang Hegde
Sudhirendar Sharma
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