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The recent global financial crisis has raised widespread concern for the sustainability of the global economy. Much has been written concerning the negative impacts of economic development on natural ecosystems and civil societies. Unfortunately, few viable alternatives to the prevailing economic paradigms have been suggested for consideration. Those that have been are typically little more than suggestions for fine tuning capitalist or socialist economies.
In his new book The Essentials of Economic Sustainability, John Ikerd addresses the basic principles and concepts essential to economic sustainability. Some of these concepts are capitalist, some are socialistic, and others are general principles validated by philosophy or common sense. What results is a synthesis: something that is neither capitalist nor socialist but fundamentally different; it is sustainable. Instead of threats and apocalyptic pronouncements, Ikerd offers possibilities and assurance. Instead of epithets hurled at opponents, Ikerd offers possibilities for reconciliation and a renewed sense of the need to work cooperatively to find solutions to the most urgent problems of our era.