During the 17th century, Britain witnessed the birth of a consumer society, but, as the number of possessions grew, so did the concept of "taste", a subtle and elusive yardstick by which people advertised their social position and sensibilities — the pursuit of taste encouraged, as it still does, competition and conformity. From food supplements to feng shui kits, which "virtuous" products we buy are really wasteful and useless? According to an emerging line of thinking, there are great benefits in meeting the customer’s needs in creative ways that don’t necessarily entail ownership — why own anything? Sacred Enterprise: Capitalism is not only about money; it's about morality. Why social transformation is not a job for the market: Michael Edwards introduces Small Change: Why Business Won't Change the World. A review of Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It) by William Poundstone (and more). A review of The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy by Raj Patel (and more and more and more). Individuals who grow up during recessions tend to form life-long beliefs, including that success in life depends more on luck than on effort. Mad Men in the He-Cession: An article on masculinity, macaroni, and mayhem in America's financial panics. The case for economic rights: FDR said it and it holds 66 years later — there are benefits and opportunities every American should expect to enjoy. What’s better about being more equal? For how much longer can the wealthy and wretched of the earth coexist? The choices are bleak — either Care Now or Apocalypse Now. A review of Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet by Tim Jackson. A review of Free: Adventures on the Margins of a Wasteful Society by Katharine Hibbert.

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