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Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered

This is an economics book that wants to talk about people. Instead of being a detached progressive diatribe against capitalism, it rationally explores concepts such as human capital, economies of scale, resource use, ownership, growth, incentives, and value. In many ways, it's philosophy, as applies to economic and social systems. He argues against scale as a desirable goal by itself, without neglecting practicalities of inefficiencies. In short, he makes compelling arguments for promoting human flourishing over optimizing for consumption. Consumption can lead to flourishing, but is not the primary metric of an economy's success.

This is my favorite of Schumacher's books, and I've recommended it to many people.


These are entirely subjective, and roughly try to capture my personal enjoyment and usefulness, and how likely I'd recommend it to others. Don't read too much into this unless you love my judgement. Rough guidelines:

A: Top quartile. Changed the way I think about something.

B: Worthwhile. I took away something useful.

C: Didn't hit, wouldn't directly recommend. Likely won't revisit.

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