books lifestyle

How to live a non-economic life

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed I Spend, Therefore I Am, by Philip Roscoe. It’s a serious book that deals with how economic language and modes of thinking has crept into everyday life, and what the consequences might be. Philip Roscoe’s guide to a non-economic life is not quite so serious, but it makes some great points. See what you think.

economic life roscoe


  1. Police your thoughts!

    Wonder why your landlord throws you out when you attempt to pay him in barter.

    Tie yourself up in knots being both amazed and disgusted by the skyscraper built by the economic thinking you reject.

          1. Assuming a sense of humour is not a safe bet round here.(Even when the blogger says something isn’t to be taken seriously).

  2. My intention is generous, do not mean to be full-blown, intellectual jerk,
    What about the following:
    concerning the homo modernus, producer, consumer, product. And… the price of the product is definitely and probably finally waining.

    The logical evolution hinted at is rationalised and evidenced in a next paper as one of the logical consequences of economic thinking over the last decades. Hope this is not of-topic as a comment to the above article.


  3. This is the trump card in our carpentry: Anything like being creative or taking time to make something really special out of wood is uneconomic, stop it. The result: bland, boring cheap looking cabinets and bored stressed staff.

    If that is economic sense you can keep it…

    1. This is why Philip Roscoe is wrong about economics. If you don’t think about the economics and just make spend a long time making a few creative cabinets then either you have to charge so much for them few people can afford them or you can’t pay you bills and you have to shut up shop. That may be a fact you don’t like, but it is still a fact.

      Some carpenters do make a living making bespoke furniture, but only a few. Most people can only afford the simple mass produced stuff so that is what most carpenters have to make. It where the demand is (economics again).

      1. Oh, DevonChap, that makes so many assumptions about society, economics and the way we live (or want to live) that it would take hours of dabate and a thousand blog entries and we’d still not agree.

        Personally I think that there has to be a better way that doesn’t waste lives and which allows for craftsmanship and joy. It is heresy to the religion of economics and the responses to those of us developing these ways will become more and more shrill as we continue on our way, but we will not just go back to the empty way of life dictated by them.

        1. No one stops you trying to live a life as you wish. But you can’t expect others to change to fit your wishes. You can go and make your creative cabinets, but no one should be forced to buy them.

          The way the world is now is through the choices of billions of people. You may say people want society is a certain way but economists (them again) have a thing called revealed preference which shows we often act to get something different to what we say we want.

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