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Life Money & Illusion [Paperback]

Mike Nickerson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1 2008
In recent years, unchecked economic growth in the Western world has led to resource depletion and widespread environmental degradation. "Life, Money & Illusion" was inspired by the dilemma of having an economic structure that has to grow to remain healthy, while facing the necessity of reducing our footprint and establishing a stable state economy to secure ecological viability on a finite planet. The book launches a review of economic expansion. It examines how growth came to be a goal and how that goal, though once hugely beneficial, is now the propellant for catastrophe.Then, by showing how the economy can be restructured to remain within planetary limits, it points the way to a sustainable future. The book advocates change by shifting the dominant economic paradigm from growth to sustainability. Techniques include: measuring well-being through genuine progress; encouraging sustainable investment; practical changes such as tax shifting, carbon taxes and monetary reform; and, honouring the Golden Rule instead of the Rule of Gold. An engaging and empowering vision of the future that celebrates humanity's extraordinary ability to adapt and evolve, this book will appeal to social activists, environmentalists and all those who are committed to a sustainable future.

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Review

In recent years, unchecked growth has brought us to the brink of economic and environmental collapse. Life, Money and Illusion was inspired by the dilemma of having an economic structure that has to grow to remain healthy, while facing the finite limits of our planet. This revised and updated edition launches a review of economic expansion. It examines how growth came to be a goal and how that goal, though once beneficial, is now the propellant for catastrophe. Then, by showing how the economy can be restructured to remain within planetary limits, it points the way to a sustainable future.

Life, Money and Illusion advocates change by shifting the dominant economic paradigm from growth to sustainability. Techniques include:
  • Measuring progress with social and environmental indicators, along with economic ones
  • Encouraging investment in community
  • Practical changes such as full cost accounting, tax shifting and monetary reform
  • Honoring the Golden Rule instead of the Rule of Gold
  • Focusing more on living than on stuff.

An engaging and empowering vision of a future that celebrates humanity's extraordinary ability to adapt and evolve, Life, Money and Illusion will appeal to social activists, business people, students, environmentalists, financial planners, economists, parents, grandparents and anyone else with a stake in the future.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Mike Nickerson is a longtime environmental activist, popular educator and the author of three books on sustainability including Bakavi: Change the World I Want to Stay On and Planning For Seven Generations: Guideposts for a Sustainable Future. He is a founding member of the Green Party of Canada and helped draft the Canada Well-Being Measurement Act. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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4.0 out of 5 stars good Jan. 15 2012
Format:Paperback
This is an informative book.
If you are interested in the subject of money, including the way it is created, and would like to explore some practical alternatives to the present monetary system then I would definitely suggest reading 'The End of Money and the Future of Civilization' by Thomas Greco.
The End of Money and The Future of Civilization
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food for Thought Nov. 20 2007
Format:Paperback
An excellent overview of macro-economics and critique of the market system.

I was most intrigued with the chapter on Monetary Reform. Alternate currency systems are explored and the history of our present monetary system critiqued. A monetary system is analysed as having 2 essential functions and (optionally) 3 additional functions. The non-essential function, the speculative market, is described as a distraction from the "real economy". Three monetary systems are described. The Interest Bearing Monetary System is our present system. A Money System Requiring no Interest was experienced in Canada when the Bank of Canada was first established. Another system is the demurrage Monetary system with a storage rate or service charge on money saved. The merits and past uses of this system in essence have been cited.

In 1944, two proposals by Maynard Keynes and Harry Dexter White are briefly described. Some points are made of the consequence to the 1971 drop of the gold standard. Finally, brought to the reader's attention, a conference in Noordwijk ann Zee in the Netherlands in 2000 has drafted the Feasta Noordwijk Treaty designed for sustainability, stability and equity which is a proposal not yet acted upon.

The book also contains many Internet websites to view and a list of reference/further reading section.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new strategy Oct. 30 2011
By Bill M - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Being somewhat politically conservative I was not eager to read this book, but once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. I have over 30 years in the military and have worked in several developing nations and have seen and experienced things again and again that challenged the conventional wisdom about our system's short commings. While I didn't agree with all of Mike's points, I agreed with at 90% of them. I would even go so far to add that it would be wise for the U.S. military and State Department to adapt many of his ideas as a core part of our strategy for the future. To continue on our current path is simply foolish, and most people are aware of that, but they (we) weren't aware of options prior to reading to this book.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pick for business, economics, and social issues libraries alike Dec 15 2009
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
LIFE, MONEY AND ILLUSION: LIVING ON EARTH AS IF WE WANT TO STAY is a pick for business, economics, and social issues libraries alike, providing an updated edition inspired by the realities of living on a finite planet with an economic structure wired for growth. It considers the impact and detriments of this objective, analyzing how the economy can be restructured to remain within planetary limits, and provides a powerful series of arguments against our current economic structure and objectives.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful look at Earth's future April 4 2010
By Pamela Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Mindless growth, proceeding without regard to the consequences to the planet, comes in for scrutiny in "Life, Money and Illusion: Living on Earth as if we want to stay." What author Mike Nickerson lays out as an alternative is a rethinking of priorities, new policies and a general restructuring that preserves the Earth's health but still provides for its human and other inhabitants. These are not simple changes, like deciding to recycle; these are significant changes in thinking, tax codes, and political, economic and social policies. The book is intended for anyone concerned about the future of the planet and wondering what needs to be done to keep it healthy well into the future.
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