Philip Roscoe - I Spend Therefore I Am: the True Cost of Economics
- Jay Richardson
- 18 February 2014
An easy to grasp analysis of how economics has infiltrated every aspect of modern living
A straightforward, easy to grasp analysis, Philip Roscoe's politically charged denunciation of economics' primacy in the modern world highlights the dire consequences of applying a market mentality to such areas as car safety, organ donorship, prostitution and online dating. With troubling casualness, he argues, we have absorbed the algorithms of neo-liberal capitalism into every aspect of our existence, as if it were empirical science rather than the best guesses of arbitrary and value-loaded systems. We have become 'economic men and women' who price our vocations, bodies and prospective partners according to scarcely perceived but powerful market forces. Simultaneously grim and entertaining reading, especially on those subjects that ostensibly seem so divorced from currency and transaction, Roscoe suggests that instead of promoting the most just or equal practice in hospitals or universities, economics has re-shaped our institutions from within to value revenue above everything else, ensuring fewer students applying to be social workers and more wanting to be bankers. The alternatives that Roscoe suggests, chiefly community-based local economies, don't wholly convince, but there remains plenty of food for thought here.