Kate Raworth – Doughnut Economics [Review]

November 30, 2017 — Leave a comment

 

Caring for Both the Earth
and Those who Inhabit It

A Brief Review of 

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist
Kate Raworth

Hardback: Chelsea Green Books, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Patrick Bowers

 

It is not very often a macroeconomic book could be praised as both approachable and revolutionary at the same time, but I think that is the only way to sum up Kate Raworth’s book.  This book was years in the making and the author very much wants the readers to follow her along on her trip from student to a shaper of economic thought.

I have spent the last decade trying to better understand the liberal western economic system in which we swim.  I have tried to listen to the margins to find a better way.  Kate Raworth draws all the edges in on the blanket, but better yet it is like she has changed our ability to picture what macroeconomics could look like in the 21st century.

Raworth’s goal throughout the whole book is to help us understand how pictures have shaped our economics and our economies.  She then takes these pictures and dissects them, so we can see what better pictures should replace them.  She suggests that we need to change the goals, see the big picture, nurture human nature, get savvy with systems, design to distribute, create to regenerate, and be agnostic about growth.

I believe for some, Raworth’s new pictures will be hard to swallow, and I will admit there are some suggestions I am skeptical about.  But I think this quote by Donella Meadows sums up what Raworth is trying to show us: “The future can’t be predicted, but it can be envisioned and brought lovingly into being.”

I have become tired of the talk about GDP, economic growth, and the ever shrinking cycle of boom and bust.  Raworth’s book is a book of hope which is more caring for both the earth and those who inhabit it.