Articles & Blogs on Free Markets, Ethics and Well-being

Interesting posts and articles from around the web, collected in one place. Plus original content from our researchers and other contributors.

A Radical Plan to Fix Inequality Is Making Waves with Its Many Moral Dilemmas

“What if everything was for sale? What if you had to name a price for everything you owned and be willing to sell it if a buyer matched your offer? And you couldn’t cheat by overestimating the price to keep your property because your taxes would be based on the value you chose. It’s enough to make even the most ardent believers in free markets squirm a little. But a system like this is at the heart of […] Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society.

There’s Nothing Wrong with Socialism – As Long as It’s Voluntary

“the claim [recently made in the Huffington Post] by Richard Wolff that “capitalism is the reason your employer is screwing you over”. According to Wolff, workers’ cooperatives are very much better than capitalist forms of organisation. There’s nothing wrong with cooperatives per se. But Wolff’s demand that the coops gain access to outside capital is where his argument starts to go wrong. After all, the only useful definition of capitalism is a system in which access to outside capital happens.”

Capitalism Is The Reason Your Employer Is Screwing You Over; The Answer: Worker Cooperatives

“To understand why the relationship between employer and employee is so severely screwed, we have to look to capitalism. Capitalist businesses are starkly undemocratic. Employers are economic dictators. They wield enormous power and control that is unaccountable to the social majority around them: their employees and the communities in which they live. […] There is an answer ― a mechanism that can bring democracy into the workplace: worker cooperatives.”

Partially Right: Rejecting Neoliberalism Shouldn’t Mean Giving Up on Social Liberalism

“Richard Denniss’s essay “Dead Right: How Neoliberalism Ate Itself and What Comes Next”, is a thought-provoking call to arms against an array of perceived ills – economic rationalism, market forces, small government, tax cuts, incentives, even corporate sponsorship. Denniss provides a useful provocation for a much-needed debate in Australia about the proper role of government versus markets, and the interests of firms versus workers and consumers. But he risks throwing out what is good about liberalism in attacking neoliberalism.”

The Difficult Subject of Refugee Economies

“Most writings on refugee economy or the immigrant economy refer to changes in the immigrant labour absorption policies of the Western governments. These writings reflect on the economic activities of the refugees and other victims of forced migration. Refugees are seen as economic actors in the market. But we do not get a full picture of why capitalism in late twentieth or early twenty first century needs these refugee or immigrant economic actors

New on Our Bookshelf: “The Bad Faith in the Free Market; The Radical Promise of Existential Freedom”

About this book: “The Bad Faith in the Free Market argues that market freedom holds back the potential for the achievement of radical existential freedom and reveals the continued philosophical relevance of existentialism for analyzing and concretely challenging the current neoliberal status quo as well as capitalism generally.” Or see all the books on the shelf

Secret Men’s Business – Why the Public Image of Economics is Bad News for All of Us

“What is economics all about? Ask a person in the street and the most likely answer will be along the lines of “economics is about money, earning money, something similar to business and finance”. But economics is more than just the study of money – there is a whole other side of economics that many people have never thought of. It is time we spread this message to attract more students, especially women and those from minority backgrounds, into economics.”

Good Corporate Governance Is about More than Shareholders

“From now on, the [British] Government will require companies above a certain size to report on their compliance with section 172 of the 2006 Companies Act. Put simply, this is the legal duty placed on directors to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members – that is, the shareholders. So far so unsurprising. Where it gets a bit unwieldy is the next part, which specifies that in doing so, a director must also have regard to a number of other groups, including employees, customers and suppliers.”

What Did Max Weber Mean by the ‘Spirit’ of Capitalism?

“Max Weber’s famous text The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905) is surely one of the most misunderstood of all the canonical works regularly taught, mangled and revered in universities across the globe. This is not to say that teachers and students are stupid, but that this is an exceptionally compact text that ranges across a very broad subject area, written by an out-and-out intellectual at the top of his game.”

Two Reforms to Save Capitalism

“It is not the job of the state to keep the rich rich and lending at interest is ethically justified only by the risk of loss. Unless and until we really remember and internalise those two key moral tenets of capitalism, our system will remain fundamentally unjust and our only good argument against the hard Left will be that, although their criticisms are correct, their solutions will make things even worse. We can and must do better than that.”

New on Our Bookshelf: “Radical Markets; Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society”

About this book: “Many blame today’s economic inequality, stagnation, and political instability on the free market. The solution is to rein in the market, right? Radical Markets turns this thinking – and pretty much all conventional thinking about markets, both for and against – on its head. The book reveals bold new ways to organize markets for the good of everyone.” Or see all the books on the shelf

What Karl Marx Has to Say about Today’s Environmental Problems

“on Marx’s recent 200th birthday, discussion of his continuing relevance was still dominated by “traditional” understandings of Marxism. Commentators, whether hostile or sympathetic, focused on his critique of the exploitation and inequality of capitalism and imperialism, and the struggle to transform society in a socialist direction. Sadly, there was little – far too little – on Marx’s thinking on the relations between humans and nature.”

Also available in: nl

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