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.

Rain or Shine, Markets Provide

External site

“On an otherwise dreary and ominous day, witnessing the miracle of free exchange restored a bit of my soul. It seemed as though the clouds had parted, and a celestial ray approvingly shone down upon the street corner. The entrepreneurial capitalism I witnessed this week was not out of the ordinary, but this instance was unique. […]”

The Only Way is Ethics: Why Good People do Bad Things and How to Stop Us

Ilse Oosterlaken

Ethical Systems announces a newly-released white paper “The Only Way is Ethics: Why good people do bad things and how to stop us.” This resource is “a free, 44-page guide which presents research on why traditional solutions to managing ethics [in organizations] aren’t working, while also providing a set of tools and a framework to begin diagnosing your own organization alongside concrete advice for improvement. “

The Moral Case for Free Trade

External site

“…wonky arguments about comparative advantage and efficiency gains tend not to move the needle with the public or elected officials, as the last few years have proven. Politicians from both parties use inflammatory rhetoric to mask weak arguments against free trade. […]
Given such stark rhetoric from those with weaker economic arguments, it’s time for free traders to make the moral case for trade.”

From Authenticity to Artificiality … and Back? Can the Market Heal the Wound It Inflicted?

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Luigino Bruni

“A market society needs individuals without strong ties or deep roots, and it has the economic and political means to make them ever more disconnected and rootless. People with significant interpersonal relationships and a cultivated inner life are just imperfect consumers who are difficult to manage.”

What If There Were No Profits?

Acton Institute

To Pope Francis, “men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption.” The author of this article “would like to emphasize that what the pope sees is right. Profits should not be more important than people. Waste is bad stewardship. The plight of the poor deserves more regular media attention. Solidarity is a virtue. All of these things are true, but Francis — like many oth­ers — fails to see the good of profit.”

The Many Transgressions of Deirdre McCloskey

Institute for New Economic Thinking

Interview (with videos) with Deidre McCloskey “focused on […] her continued engagement with economic history and her “Bourgeois Virtues” trilogy that seeks to make a philosophical and scientific defense of capitalism, her criticism of economics as practiced, and her advice for young economists seeking to break out of the stultifying confines of what is acceptable.”

The Market Is Necessary, but Not Sufficient, for Virtue

External site

“To summarize, the free market does encourage some level of social morality, while collectivist economic systems undermine it. Yet Röpke argued, correctly I think, that we cannot rely primarily on the free market — and certainly not on the free market alone — to produce the social morality the market itself needs to thrive.

Can We Trust Markets When It Comes to the End of Life?

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

“Last year, Canada legalised physician assisted suicide and euthanasia (PAS-E). Following this, a recent report noted: “Medical assistance in dying could reduce annual health care spending across Canada by between $34.7 million and $138.8 million.” That such a report was undertaken in the first place highlights the role that money and markets inevitably play in the roll-out of any such legislation, or any major social intervention.”

Can Dependency Theory Explain Our World Today?

Institute for New Economic Thinking

“Is it time for dependency theory to make a comeback? Its central idea is that developed (”core”) countries benefit from the global system at the expense of developing (”periphery”) countries—which face structural barriers that make it difficult, if not impossible, for them to develop in the same way that the already developed countries did. As neo-classical economics came to dominate the field in the 1980s, the theory lost prominence and traction. Given the vast imbalances that persist within and among nations in the global economy today, it’s an opportune time to revisit the framework.”

The Hidden Cost of Privatization; Why Some Goods and Services Should Stay in the Public Domain

Institute for New Economic Thinking

“While the business of business is business, the business of government is not. This piece points out that while there may be a role for public-private partnerships, not only are the cost savings doubtful, but their effect on the ends of government are extremely worrisome. Public-private partnerships conflate public and private interests, and in conflicts between them, the private interests win out.”

Not Quite Rational Man; A new Paradigm in Economics Recognizes the Complexity in Human Behavior

External site

“For more than a century, neoclassical theory dominated economic thinking. [It is] based on three key assumptions: individuals have rational preferences; individuals maximize utility, while firms maximize profits; and people choose independently, based on available information. As with any widely adopted theory, neoclassical economics has huge merits, but it also suffers from important shortcomings.”

Also available in: nlNederlands

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