One to One with Bill Goodman

One to One with Bill Goodman

David Anderson, Centre College economics professor, author (#340)

David Anderson, an economics professor at Centre College, discusses his book Treading Lightly: The Joy of Conversation, Moderation and Simple Living.

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In his book, Anderson espouses moderation in consumerism. A 2004 trip to India to help impoverished people was the inspiration for Treading Lightly. In India he and his family found that, apart from serious health-care concerns, the people they met were genuinely happy and enjoying life’s authentic pleasures: family, friends, good food, and music.

Material goods, he says, have health, environmental, and other costs well beyond the dollar amount that shoppers pay, and they rarely provide genuine happiness. Anderson also suggests that consumers invest in quality products that will last rather than cheaply made things that will need to be replaced quickly. That way, buyers spend less money over time and conserve resources.

Anderson discusses another source of inspiration for Treading Lightly: his parents. As young adults in the Depression era, his parents learned to have fun saving money and conserving resources, and they provide practical tips in the book.

The author also talks about “green” homes and villages in Australia, Canada, and even Rockcastle County; what he hopes to achieve with the book; and everything a viewer might want to know about environmentally friendly toilets.

Anderson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree and doctorate from Duke University. His five books cover the topics of dispute resolution, environmental economics, active learning, and introductory economics.


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