On Friday 28 February 2014, the McDonald Centre hosted a colloquium on How Much is Enough? The Love of Money and the Case for the Good Life, an important recent publication authored by Edward and Robert Skidelsky. In addition to the authors themselves, speakers at the event included Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, John Lloyd of The Financial Times, and Martin Kettle of The Guardian.
In 1930 John Maynard Keynes predicted that, over the next century, income would rise steadily, people’s basic needs would be met, and no one would have to work more than fifteen hours a week. Why was he so wrong? In their book, Robert and Edward Skidelsky argue that wealth is not—or should not be—an end in itself, but rather a means to the good life. Observing how far modern life has strayed from that ideal, and rejecting the claim that there is any single measure of human well-being—whether GDP or ‘happiness’—they analyse the good life into seven elements, argue that a healthy liberal society should promote them, and propose a set of policies to realise them.
Recordings of the colloquium's three main sessions are available here.