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Ernst Fritz Schumacher : A Study Of Economics As If People Mattered

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Ernst Fritz Schumacher was a British economist, born in Germany, who lived and worked during the middle of the 20th century. His work includes the development of full-employment policies during World War 2 and the planning of Britain’s post-war welfare state. He advised Britain’s nationalized coal industry for 20 years and in 1955 he was sent as an economic adviser to Burma with the aim of raising the living standards in the country. His life experiences motivated him to write Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered, a collection of essays that discuss the problems with the Western economic model and provide an alternative one which, as suggested by the title, would focus on the welfare of the ‘small’ person rather…show more content…
Small is Beautiful is structured in four parts that discuss different issues of economics with an overall theme that the current system in Western nations is not sustainable and there are many ways through which it can be improved. The topic about income and capital is introduced that describes the modern world as one that is ruining itself. The problem lies in the extensive use of natural resources and treating them as income, something that people do not have to pay for and are not concerned with it. It is argued that nature is actually a capital item which must be paid for. People should understand that and start treating it as such when using resources for production as currently in the process of economic growth, the Earth and masses of people are depleted. In that sense, it is discussed what make something economic. Developed nation’s opinion on that matter is that an economic event is one that generates profit. This view of economics disregards joys in life and creates a sense that people are only working for materialistic reasons. Labour is considered as a sacrifice people have to make and are compensated for that in the form of wages. Schumacher’s view on that matter can be described through the idea of Buddhist Economics. This concept presents a metaphysical approach where people work together in order to provide benefits to the society, the function of which is to develop each individual’s
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