Read Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing by Stan Cox Free Online
Book Title: Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing|
The author of the book: Stan Cox
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 620 KB
Edition: The New Press
Date of issue: May 7th 2013
ISBN 13: 9781595588098
Read full description of the books Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing:In this book, Stan Cox modestly takes on one of the most important questions facing civilization. Are we capable of reducing our use of energy, water, soil, and nature's production (in the form of plants and animals) voluntarily, instead of through calamity and collapse? Because if we are, Cox argues, then rationing is going to have to be a part of the solution. Why? Because there is actually no such thing as no rationing. Today, we ration in a few ways. What we are used to in the West is rationing by ability-to-pay, through the market. In the 1970s, petrol was rationed by queue-ing. But there are other ways of rationing that are practiced in different parts of the world. Some Indian cities ration water by making it available only during certain periods of the day. Egypt rations food by selling a quota of bread at a fixed price. During WWII, there was fairly comprehensive rationing - of fuel and of food, for example, as well as other things.
The book takes us through these different examples of rationing. WWII provides an example of how the West used rationing, its successes and its pitfalls in applicability to the environmental crisis. Chapters on water, food, energy, and a fascinating chapter on health care all build a case that rationing by ability-to-pay (ie., through the market) is an extremely inefficient and unfair way to handle distribution of scarce necessities. Towards the end of the book, Cox draws on some very interesting research about human behaviour, about status and about voluntarism, to discuss political incentives and disincentives for rationing.
Most of the examples of rationing are about distribution under conditions of scarcity. The trouble, Cox notes, is that if we are going to resolve our environmental problems, we will need to ration under conditions of (seeming) abundance. What does that mean? It means, for example, that we are not going to run out of oil before we cook the atmosphere enough to create mass extinctions and mass displacements due to drought and flooding. The most important question Cox raises remains an open one. Can we turn off from the "environmental cliff" we are speeding towards, if we don't have any obvious scarcity to tell us to stop? Cox shows, I think, that it is physically and economically possible. I hope we can acquire some of his wisdom from reading his book.
Read information about the authorStan Cox is author of Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (The New Press, 2010) and Sick Planet (Pluto Press, 2008).
His op-ed columns have appeared in the Denver Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, San Jose Mercury-News, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Hartford Courant, Providence Journal, Wilmington News Journal, Burlington Free Press, and the Progressive Populist. In addition, they have been in scores of smaller papers in 26 states.
Since 2003, he has written regularly for AlterNet.org and CounterPunch.org. Many of those articles have been reprinted by papers such as the Chicago Sun-Times, the Hartford Courant, Los Angeles Alternative, Fort Worth Weekly, Illinois Times, Albany, NY Metroland, and other papers. They have also been published by the journal Capitalism Nature Socialism, the Green journal Synthesis/Regeneration, the Indian national publications The Hindu and The Week, and the expatriate monthly Inside Mexico.
He contributed a chapter (and photos of his front yard) to Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Yard (Metropolis Books, 2008 and 2010)
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