Sunday, July 19, 2015

Imagine: Economics based on the reality not theory of markets


When economists talk of markets, they are almost invariably thinking of the abstract interactions of what they call rational actors, people who wish to maximise their wealth and leisure time, and minimise the labour needed to acquire those coveted goods. In the standard economist’s model, the participants are expected to obey the law, but the markets themselves are mechanical, not moral.
De Lauzun presents a quite different vision, based on the actual history of markets and the reflections of pre-modern philosophers. In this analysis, virtue is at the centre, not the periphery. Markets are not supposed to be places where selfish individual sellers and buyers fight it out, but communities in which all strive to establish fair prices. For a market to work well, the participants must share a commitment to justice.

sounds similar to the books I linked to earlier.

Add to these Fukuyama's book Trust, and maybe you might find the Marxists like Chomsky are wrong (I stopped reading Chomsky when I realized what he said didn't resemble what I had actually seen around me).

so maybe Pope Francis needs to expand his readings of economics into reading that promote reality instead of talking points, and maybe instead of promoting socialism, which in itself can devolve into tyranny and corruption, he might try  promoting ethical business practices.

A small anecdote: I once heard a lecture in the US where (as an aside), the lecturer said that he often learned a lot giving talks to small groups of businessmen...not necessarily at the meeting, but during the ride to and from the airport, where he usually was driven by one of the local businessmen.

What would open the men to discuss their approach to business and the problems they faced? He would ask them if they ever prayed... and a surprisingly large number said yes, and that prayer helped them make business decisions.

(No God doesn't tell them what to invest: Prayer puts you in touch with your conscience, and that directs you. Sort of like how Christ talks to Don Camillo. )

one example:

He is quite prepared to don a false beard and moustache and knock out a champion boxer - or even toss a bomb onto the roof of the People's Palace, thus exploding a case of dynamite that had been hidden there, so saving the village from an even worse danger."Don Camillo," said the Lord, "are you sure that you did the right thing ?""No," Don Camillo replied. "God leaves man free to choose between right and wrong. I did wrong, I admit it, and I shall repent.""Aren't you repentant already?""No, Lord," whispered Don Camillo. "It's still too early. I must ask for an extension." The Lord sighed.
and prayer lets you see the bigger picture:

 he has one of his regular chats with the figure of Christ on his big cross: "Dear Lord, if the young people make a joke out of the most serious things in life, what on earth is going to become of your church?""Don Camillo," the Christ said in a reassuring tone, "don't let yourself be carried away by what appears on television and in the newspapers. The fact is, God does not need men. It is men who have need of God. Light exists even in a world of the blind. As somebody once said, 'Though they have eyes, yet they cannot see'. The light won't go out just because there's nobody to see it."

the Little world of Don Camillo (PDF)

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