Updated on 6 June 2023
‘The model of more is failing both environmentally and socially, and practically everyone is still cheering it on… it almost makes you want to climb to the top of the highest building and shout, “ENOUGH!”
How Much Is Enough? What is money and wealth for? Why do we as individuals and societies go on wanting and yearning for more? What is economic growth for? Can we/ should we carry on just growing, creating, producing, consuming,…,more and more, for ever more? Do we need to satisfy our wants or look after our needs? Should we be a “maximiser” or “satisfier” and choose the path of “enoughness”? Then, what is a good life? What are the main ingredients of a good, happy and peaceful life? Should we move away from Gross National Product (GDP) to Gross National Happiness?
In short, is the incessant quest for higher incomes, more and more profits at any cost, and faster growth robbing us of the good life rather than helping us to attain it? And, in the end, what adjustments in our moral and economic system would be needed to realise change?
Enough Is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources
A Must-read book by Dan O'Neill and Rob Dietz
‘It’s time for a new kind of economy
'We’re overusing the earth’s finite resources, and yet excessive consumption is failing to improve our lives. In Enough Is Enough, Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill lay out a visionary but realistic alternative to the perpetual pursuit of economic growth – an economy where the goal is enough, not more.
They explore specific strategies to conserve natural resources, stabilise population, reduce inequality, fix the financial system, create jobs, and more – all with the aim of maximising long-term well-being instead of short-term profits. Filled with fresh ideas and surprising optimism, Enough Is Enough is the primer for achieving genuine prosperity and a hopeful future for all.’- See more HERE
In his foreword to ‘Enough is Enough’ Herman Daly writes these inspiring and thought provoking words to celebrate the publication of this timeless book:
Enough: The Central Concept in Economics
‘I have long wanted to write a book on the subject of “enough” but never did. Now I don’t have to because Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill have done it in a clearer and more accessible way than I could have. Therefore, it is a special pleasure for me to write a foreword calling attention to their important contribution.
Enough should be the central concept in economics. Enough means “sufficient for a good life.” This raises the perennial philosophical question: What is a good life? That is not easy to answer, but at a minimum, we can say that the current answer to “having ever more” is wrong. It is worth working hard and sacrificing some things to have enough, but it is stupid to work even harder to have more than enough. And to get more than enough not by hard work but by the exploitation of others is immoral.
Living on enough is closely related to sharing, a virtue which today is often referred to as “class warfare.” Real class warfare, however, will not result from sharing, but from the greed of elites who promote growth because they capture nearly all of the benefits from it while “sharing” only the costs.
Enough is the theme of the story of God’s gift of manna to the ancient Hebrews in the wilderness. Food in the form of manna arrived like dew on the grass every morning and was enough for the day. If people tried to gather more than enough and accumulate it, it would spoil and go to waste. So God’s gift was wrapped up in the condition of enough—sufficiency and sharing—an idea later amplified in the Lord’s Prayer, “give us this day our daily bread.” Not bread for the rest of our lives or excess bread with which to buy whatever luxuries we may covet, but enough bread to sustain and enjoy fully the gift of life itself.
This story from Exodus has parallels in the thoughts of pioneer ecological economist and Nobel Prize-winning chemist, Frederick Soddy. Soddy observed that humanity lives off the revenue of current sunshine that is gathered each day by plants with the aid of soil and water. Unlike manna, some of the sunshine was accumulated and stored by geologic processes, and we have consumed it lavishly with mixed results. Today, we also try to accumulate surplus solar income and exchange it for a permanent lien on future solar income. We then expect this surplus, converted into debt in the bank, to grow at compound interest. But the future solar-based revenue, against which the debt is a lien, cannot keep up with the mathematics of exponential growth, giving rise to debt repudiation and depression.
For the Hebrews in the wilderness, the manna economy was designed with “enough” as a built-in feature. Our economy does not have that automatic regulation. We have to recognize the value of enough and build it into our economic institutions and culture. Thanks to Dietz and O’Neill for helping us do that.’- Herman Daly is CASSE Chief Economist, Professor Emeritus (University of Maryland), and past World Bank senior economist.
Read more: Enough Is Enough (Excerpt)
Read more and buy the book HERE
Enough is Enough: The Film
'Enough Is Enough lays out a visionary but realistic alternative to the perpetual pursuit of economic growth-an economy where the goal is enough, not more.
“Based on the best-selling book by Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill, the film explores specific strategies to fix the financial system, reduce inequality, create jobs, and more.
Drawing on the expertise of Tim Jackson, Kate Pickett, Andrew Simms, Natalie Bennett, and Ben Dyson, Enough Is Enough is the primer for achieving genuine prosperity and a hopeful future for all.'- Watch the film HERE
ENOUGH is ENOUGH: A pick from our archive
The Joy of Less (2014)
Happiness is to Do Nothing (2018)