In This Review

More From Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next
More From Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next
By Andrew McAfee
Scribner, 2019, 352 pp

McAfee offers an optimistic outlook for the future of mankind—or at least for those who live in wealthy, democratic countries. This unusual book highlights “four horsemen of the optimist”: effective capitalism, technological progress, public awareness, and effective government. Free markets and advancing technologies provide the basis for material well-being; a free press and strong governance check uncontrolled greed and protect against social and environmental harms. McAfee favors social democracy over socialism, insisting on a sharp distinction between the two. His most surprising finding concerns the U.S. economy. Over the past two decades, the material standard of living of Americans has continued to rise even as Americans consume fewer physical resources, such as water, metals, and building materials. McAfee sees these trends spreading to the rest of the world.