Betterness: Economics for Humans is a call to arms for a post-capitalist economy. Umair Haque argues that just as positive psychology revolutionized our understanding of mental health by recasting the field as more than just treating mental illness, we now need to rethink our economic paradigm. Why? Because business as we know it has reached a state of diminishing returns and though we work harder and harder, we never seem to get anywhere. This has led to a diminishing of the common wealth: wage stagnation, widening economic inequality, the depletion of the natural world, and more. To get out of this trap, we need to rethink the future of human exchange. In short, we need to get out of business and into the logic of “betterness”.
Umair Haque’s contends that economics, however, still operates on the basis of a negative paradigm. What we call a healthy economy is one where ‘economic pathologies’ have been minimised or removed: if we remove barriers to commerce or trade, the economy will enjoy ‘health’.