It is hardly an exaggeration to say that, with increasing affluence, economics has moved into the very centre of public concern, and economic performance, economic growth, economic expansion, and so forth have become the abiding interest, if not the obssession, of all modern societies. In the current vocabulary of condemnation there are few words as final and conclusive as the word “uneconomic”. If an activity has been branded as uneconomic, its right to existence is not merely questioned, but energitically denied. Anything that is found to be an impediment to economic growth is a shameful thing, and if people cling to it, they are thought of as either saboteurs or fools. Call a thing immoral or ugly, soul-destroying or a degradation of man, a peril to the peace of the world or to the well-being of future generations; as long as you have not shown it to be “uneconomic”, you have not really questioned its right to exist, grow and prosper.
I wish I had read E.F. Schumacher 2 years earlier. This is not the right time for me to be reading him, but I can’t help myself. Maybe, it is just destiny.