Small is Beautiful: Book Review
Uploaded by Comrade Basa on Oct 15, 2008
The book I was reading for my book review was ‘Small is Beautiful’ which describes itself as a ‘Study of Economics as if People Mattered.’ In the first few chapters of the book, I was able to note some similarities in what was being talked about in the book and what we had previously discussed in class. Schumacher explained this all in great detail, this segment of the book was very much like An Inconvenient Truth and the 11th Hour. He further shows a similar display of facts, which are intended to influence the reader to feel as if something must be done immediately.
The most interesting thing about this book, I feel, is that it was written some time in the 1970’s. Yet all the same predictions are still there. Today we talk about how far off the predictions were people made about how high gas prices would be today. Schumacher shows an example of this, to make it more of a trend. In Britain, in the 1950’s people had guessed that the price of oil would rise by 1970 they had already fixed a number which they had estimated it would not exceed. Yet before even their target year, their number had far been exceeded. This just goes to illustrate the argument that Schumacher is leading, in showing that the consumption of resources is exponential.
Schumacher also went on to describe the inequalities in the world. I believe, after reading the entire book, this was probably his main argument. He spent the former part of the book examining the problem and the history of the problem, and the latter trying to point the reader in the direction in what he would consider the solution. Much of his solution is based on the Third World, which he really puts in perspective. Schumacher points out that the aid that is actually sent to the Third World, if divided between the people accounts for about $2 a year, per person. He quickly adds that doubling this would be useless, as that would only mean $4 a year.
This leads me to Schumacher’s solution, changing the current mindset. Aid to the Third World is just one example of how material wealth is expected to solve a problem. Instead of sending aid, why not educate the people as so they can overcome their poverty, he relates this to a fishing analogy. If you were...