Author Topic: The concept of 'enough' - a great article in The Guardian  (Read 7019 times)

mr muppet

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The concept of 'enough' - a great article in The Guardian
« on: August 25, 2013, 05:29:46 AM »
I've been reading 'How much is enough?' by Skidelsky which explores the relationship between wealth and happiness. The early chapters are a good read but then it gets harder going later on. I've attacked the book slowly for months but have slowed down recently. Anyhow, to the point: The Guardian have an interesting article on the ideas of the book and they should very much appeal to the members of this forum. Enjoy!

http://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2013/aug/25/robert-skidelsky-interview-good-life

ThatsMyOtter

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Re: The concept of 'enough' - a great article in The Guardian
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2013, 04:22:30 PM »
Interesting article. Thanks for sharing!

footenote

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Re: The concept of 'enough' - a great article in The Guardian
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2013, 04:49:45 PM »
I enjoyed this - thank you for posting it.

Peony

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Re: The concept of 'enough' - a great article in The Guardian
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2013, 07:32:05 PM »
Liked the interview and sent the link to my college-age son, who's interested in both philosophy and economics.

DocCyane

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Re: The concept of 'enough' - a great article in The Guardian
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2013, 08:49:54 PM »
Reserved the book from my county library system. Hopefully a good one.

swick

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Re: The concept of 'enough' - a great article in The Guardian
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2013, 11:51:04 AM »
Thanks for the link, seems like a very interesting concept - would take a global mind shift to ever take place. I can't help but wonder if people only had to "work three hours a day to earn a living" how society would change.

As someone who works in non-profit where the pay is generally crappy and huge amount of unpaid overtime is required to keep the doors open, not having to worry about paying the bills would keep many people in the field, doing what they love and contributing to society, instead of getting burned out and having to leave to find "real work"

oldtoyota

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Re: The concept of 'enough' - a great article in The Guardian
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2013, 05:00:45 PM »
Thanks for the link, seems like a very interesting concept - would take a global mind shift to ever take place. I can't help but wonder if people only had to "work three hours a day to earn a living" how society would change.

As someone who works in non-profit where the pay is generally crappy and huge amount of unpaid overtime is required to keep the doors open, not having to worry about paying the bills would keep many people in the field, doing what they love and contributing to society, instead of getting burned out and having to leave to find "real work"

I have been reading about Pompeii. Seems the people there looked down on the professions of doctor, teacher, architect, etc. Those jobs were often performed by slaves. Professions admired included public officials and those who managed their own estates. (Public officials were not paid, btw. They were expected to use their own money to keep the city running. )

People in Pompeii (not slaves) spent afternoons in the baths. Other than running estates, I have not yet found much on what people did for work. Seems like slaves did most of the heavy lifting in that society.

Albert

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Re: The concept of 'enough' - a great article in The Guardian
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2013, 06:06:23 PM »
I have been reading about Pompeii. Seems the people there looked down on the professions of doctor, teacher, architect, etc. Those jobs were often performed by slaves. Professions admired included public officials and those who managed their own estates. (Public officials were not paid, btw. They were expected to use their own money to keep the city running. )

People in Pompeii (not slaves) spent afternoons in the baths. Other than running estates, I have not yet found much on what people did for work. Seems like slaves did most of the heavy lifting in that society.

Military officer was also a prestigious position in the late Republic and early empire. By the way Pompeii is a fascinating place and far bigger than I thought it would be. We spent a whole day there earlier this year. If any of you ever get to travel to Naples area this is a must see place (preferably outside top tourist season). One of the attractions teenagers tend to remember best is a brothel with coloured painting depicting all the things resident prostitutes were good at. :)

Jamesqf

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Re: The concept of 'enough' - a great article in The Guardian
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2013, 10:23:59 PM »
I have been reading about Pompeii. Seems the people there looked down on the professions of doctor, teacher, architect, etc. Those jobs were often performed by slaves.

But you're looking at it through the attitudes of a non-slaveholding society.  It would be easy (in principle, anyway - I don't know if actual records exist) to determine the value Romans placed on these professions: just look at the market price of slaves trained in them.

You can see similar attitudes in e.g. the British upper classes prior to say the 20th century.  Engaging in "trade" was demeaning: there were only certain things, like the military, clergy, etc, that were socially acceptable occupations.

mpbaker22

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Re: The concept of 'enough' - a great article in The Guardian
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 07:38:32 AM »
EF Schumacher explored this idea in the early chapters of his book, Small is Beautiful.

Quote
What is ‘enough’? Who can tell us? Certainly not the economist who pursues ’economic growth’ as the highest of all values, and therefore has no concept of ‘enough’. There are poor societies which have too little: but where is the rich society that says: ‘Halt! We have enough’? There is none…

Jamesqf

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Re: The concept of 'enough' - a great article in The Guardian
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2013, 09:28:27 PM »
There's also an imbalance, in that the rich society that has too much of some things almost invariably finds itself having not enough of others, usually as a consequence of having too much of the first sort.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 12:20:37 PM by Jamesqf »