The Book

In Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth, economist and bestselling author Juliet B. Schor offers a groundbreaking intellectual statement about the economics and sociology of ecological decline, suggesting a radical change in how we think about consumer goods, value, and ways to live.

Humans are degrading the planet far faster than they are regenerating it. As we travel along this shutdown path, food, energy, transport and consumer goods are becoming increasingly expensive. The economic downturn that has accompanied the ecological crisis has led to another type of scarcity: incomes, jobs, and credit are also in short supply. Our usual way back to growth — a debt-financed consumer boom — is no longer an option our households, or planet, can afford.

Responding to our current moment, Plenitude puts sustainability at its core, but it is not a paradigm of sacrifice. Instead it’s an argument that through a major shift to new sources of wealth, green technologies, and different ways of living, individuals and the country as a whole can actually be better off and more economically secure.

And as Schor observes, Plenitude is already emerging. In pockets around the country and the world, people are busy creating lifestyles that offer a way out of the work and spend cycle. These pioneers’ lives are scarce in conventional consumer goods and rich in the newly abundant resources of time, information, creativity and community. Urban farmers, D.I.Y renovators, Craig’s List users, cob builders — all are spreading their risk and establishing novel sources of income and outlets for procuring consumer goods. Taken together, these trends represent a movement away from the conventional market and offer a way toward an efficient, rewarding life in an era of high prices and traditional resource scarcity.

Based on recent developments in economic theory, social analysis, and ecological design, as well as evidence from the cutting edge people and places putting these ideas into practice, Plenitude is a road map for the next two decades. In encouraging us to value our gifts — nature, community, intelligence, and time — Schor offers the opportunity to participate in creating a world of wealth and well-being.

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41 Responses to “The Book”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Burrito Beach, Jon-David. Jon-David said: Great #book helps us appreciate what we have. Plenitude by Juliet Schor. http://bit.ly/aAbla7#inpsiration #eco #green [...]

  2. Plenitude says:

    [...] I’d like to think I’ll stop what I’m doing, order the book, read it, and translate its wisdom into my life on Goose Creek, in Floyd County and the changing world. The good news is that more and more people are pausing in their reflexive spend-growth ways of recovery and thinking “There’s got to be a better way.” There is. Plenitude points the way. [...]

  3. [...] brief excerpts from Schor’s book web site: Our usual way back to growth — a debt-financed consumer boom — is no longer an option our [...]

  4. [...] the article in The Nation as well as her new book, “Plenitude,” she makes the more specific claim that greater self-reliance could undermine the [...]

  5. [...] of an interview on NPR with Julia Schor, bestselling author of Born to Buy and, her latest book, Plentitude:  The New Economics of True Wealth.  This economist responds to the huge challenges of the current moment by preaching [...]

  6. [...] good book on this topic is Juliet Schor’s Plenitude: The Economics of True Wealth, or you check out her lecture at a Seattle City Hall [...]

  7. [...] Schor received her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Massachusetts. Her most recent book is Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth (The Penguin Press 2010). She is also author of the national best-seller, The Overworked American: [...]

  8. [...] Cullen, THE WEATHER OF THE FUTURE Juliet Schor, PLENITUDE John Michael Greer, THE ECOTECHNIC FUTURE Heather Rogers, GREEN GONE WRONG pp_flashembed( [...]

  9. [...] Schor, author of Plenitude, speaking at Seattle Town Hall, May 24th 2010. Everything prior to around 14:00 is a review of [...]

  10. [...] week, E3 economist Juliet Schor (Boston College) contributes a guest post based on her latest book Plenitude: the new economics of true wealth (Penguin Press [...]

  11. [...] I think Americans would benefit by embracing the policy changes Schor discusses in Plenitude. [...]

  12. [...] that can grow a community (and its resources) rather than deplete it. She referenced the book Plentitude, by Juliet Schor, quite a bit. Juliet Schor is also author to the Overspent American in which she [...]

  13. [...] consumption patterns and ways of producing.” Her presentation is based on her recent book Plenitude: The Economics of True Wealth, in which Schor argues that by shifting to a more sustainable way of life, we can improve both the [...]

  14. Phil Henshaw says:

    Juliet, We talked briefly when you gave a talk at Columbia, about alternative measures, just looked at your nice comment on the great Capital Institute discussion on “Can nature be monetized”, [http://capinst.geekgene.com/forum/moneyandwealth/can-nature-be-monetized-capital-institute-conversation] and added my comment saying “lets not measure how nature fits our purposes at all, but to help us see nature as a reality” I’d be curious on your thoughts. That’s sort of the same message behind that long paper of mine, on Systems Energy Assessment… Thanks for all your work, phil

  15. Juliet Schor says:

    Thanks Phil. And thanks for mentioning the Capital Institute, (http://www.capitalinstitute.org/), a great group founded by John Fullerton,
    which is working on transforming finance in very fundamental ways. He was formerly at Morgan Stanley and has now seen things in a very
    different way. I’m working with John on a project to transform the larger economy as well.

  16. Phil Henshaw says:

    Yes, John’s great. I’ve been working with him and Leland Lehrman to consult on a UNEP finance initiative. He also introduced me to Henderson and Capra’s recent macro sustainability model. It’s the only one I know of, of ALL the other otherwise fine steady state economic models, that considers economies as needing to work like natural systems, become part of nature. They include the necessity for growth systems to go through the natural succession from quantitative and qualitative development, (¸¸.•´ ¯ ) the switch from using surpluses for self-multiplication to maturation and environmental integration. That’s one of the things I focus on, and found evidence of Keynes and Boulding pointing to the necessity of too. That is what I think needs attention now that people are becoming a little receptive to a wider rethinking of things. Best,

  17. [...] s’effectue dans des contextes très différents, qu’on pourra découvrir dans un récent ouvrage de Juliet Schor ou dans les travaux de l’International Commons [...]

  18. [...] or policy action. This elaboration takes place in various contexts, that one can discover in a recent book by Juliet Schor or in the exchanges at the International Commons [...]

  19. Hey there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I will definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this website.

  20. Juliet Schor says:

    Many thanks Grazyna. I’m so glad you like the book. Best, Juliet

  21. Wow! Thank you! I continuously wanted to write on my website something like that. Can I include a portion of your post to my blog?

  22. Juliet Schor says:

    of course, just make sure to credit me and link to my site. glad you like it. juliet

  23. Plenitude says:

    [...] Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth, economist and bestselling author Juliet B. Schor offers a groundbreaking intellectual statement [...]

  24. [...] Schor is Professor of Sociology at Boston College and author of the recent book Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth (2010). She is also author of the national best-seller, The Overworked American: The Unexpected [...]

  25. [...] Schor is Professor of Sociology at Boston College. Her most recent book is Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth (The Penguin Press 2010) and writes regularly at Economics and Society where this article first [...]

  26. [...] Schor is Professor of Sociology at Boston College and author of the recent book Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth (2010). She is also author of the national best-seller, The Overworked American: The Unexpected [...]

  27. [...] instability itself. This book provides pragmatic solutions to each one of these issues. 2. Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth – Juliet Schor tweeted recommendation via @keirholl, @jdevoo from schor’s website: In [...]

  28. [...] you want to delve deeper into it, there is Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth, the book (available e.g. on amazon.com; the paperback apparently changed the title to “True Wealth: [...]

  29. [...] book Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth by Dr. Juliet Schor has been released in paperback and retitled True Wealth. Dr. Schor is an [...]

  30. [...] So now, with Juliet Schor’s Plenitude. [...]

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  33. [...] connection with Juliet Schor’s book last year, Plenitude, I appreciated this video, posted four months [...]

  34. We are a bunch of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable information to work on. You have performed an impressive job and our whole community will likely be grateful to you.

  35. [...] ideas worth exploring on the biggest shopping day of the year. Schor explains in her new book,  Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth (The Penguin Press 2010) that time should be our most valued commodity and by working less hours, [...]

  36. [...] Schor received her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Massachusetts.Her most recent book is Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth (The Penguin Press 2010). She is also author of the national best-seller, The Overworked American: [...]

  37. michelle says:

    I just heard your presentation on alternative radio. I have never listened to this station and quite frankly, believe things happen for a reason. I look forward to reading your book and utilizing many of your points to help spread the word! Blessing to you!

  38. Juliet Schor says:

    Michelle,
    So glad to hear that. I hope you like the book. All the best, Juliet

  39. Christian says:

    I was miffed that you got shut out of the conversation too often on UP this morning. The points you managed to get in were startlingly cogent and I look forward to getting the book.

  40. Juliet Schor says:

    Thanks Christian. Apparently some people have had difficulty when they google it–
    In paperback it’s called True Wealth–you can get it on Amazon, but sometimes it’s hard
    to find there. Hope you like it.
    Have a great 2013. Juliet

  41. Rana Aquil says:

    I really enjoyed reading True Wealth. It was very insightful and well-written. I learned a lot from it, especially ways to revive the economy and how to use money wisely. You are truly a gifted author.

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