The Book

An exciting new book from John de Graaf and David Batker, Executive Director of Earth Economics.


Order Your Copy Today!

"This is the news that everyone needs: you don't have to live in exactly the world you grew up in. What's the Economy for, Anyway? shows that there are other possibilities, and they're well worth considering. It's completely great!"

– Bill McKibben, visiting professor at Middlebury College, Author of Deep Economy and The End of Nature


Barnes and Noble




The Film

 Read an excerpt from the book here!

What’s the Economy for, Anyway? is available for rent or purchase from Bullfrog Films. 
In this review of the American economy, film host and Earth Economics Executive Director, David Batker, takes viewers on a sobering yet humorous journey, using numerous statistics and facts to compare the well-being of Americans to that of citizens in other industrialized nations. By introducing progressive economic ideas that build on our own economic history, the film effectively educates lay audiences, students and decision-makers alike. The film also points the direction toward economic solutions and policies (e.g. health care, fair trade, cap and auction, minimum paid vacation, etc.) and cites the Great Depression and subsequent New Deal as examples of how Americans have created new models and measures to pull through even more difficult times. The viewer is left with the understanding that systemic change is not only absolutely necessary but completely possible—in fact, it has happened before.



"This is a well argued and clearly written work that will appeal to a wide variety of readers with a broad spectrum of interests (previous knowledge of economics is not a prerequisite). The book makes eminent sense. It ought to be required reading. And even better, it is desirable reading."

– New York Journal of Books

"Smart and funny, right up the alley of today's students. I recommend it as an introduction to any discussion of the use of time and a balanced life."
– Cathy O'Keefe, Professor of Leisure and Therapeutic Recreation, University of South Alabama
"Gripping...Watching Batker's film, I learned a lot. Is the US really the only Western country that doesn't have a law guaranteeing paid vacation time? Yes. Is the US really one of four nations in the world that has no federally mandated paid maternity leave? Yes. Are Americans more likely to be depressed and/or suicidal than Europeans? Yes."
– Kathy Newman, Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies, Carnegie Mellon University, Working-Class Perspectives
"Important, complex economic and social realities demystified! What's the Economy for, Anyway? presents them in clear, simple language with plenty of humor. After a screening at my church, everyone stayed to talk for over an hour, well longer than either my expectation, or the film's running time! The evening precipitated just the kind of community conversation I had hoped for."
– Reverend Carla Pryne, Episcopal priest, Church of the Ascension, Seattle