“With university classrooms and libraries shuttered because of the COVID-19 crisis, scholars are facing disruptions not only in their teaching lives but also in their ability to access research materials. In response, many academic presses have made hundreds of their titles freely accessible online,” notices the website Public Books, which is maintaining a list of publishers who have made available free books. Moral Markets went through their list to select books of interest in the area of the ethics of markets, capitalism, economics & business.
“Most of us would likely agree that ordering essential items, such as food or medicine, is ethically acceptable. […] But what about goods that are not absolutely necessary, such as clothing that is wanted but not needed, home decor, toys and games, garden furniture and accessories, beauty products or even, depending on your view on the matter, the humble Easter egg?”
“Neoliberalism is often conceived primarily as an economic project, with the purpose of getting the government out of the economy and the individual citizen into the free market. Citizens are re-imagined as customers, and everything from healthcare to education is subjected to ferocious competition, with the state making way for private corporations. But, from its outset, neoliberalism also aimed to dismantle the entire social fabric of human life.”
“A great many large companies talk about having a social purpose and set of values, or about how much they care for their employees and other stakeholders. Now is the time for them to make good on that commitment. Research suggests that people only truly believe that their company has a purpose and clear values when they see management making a decision that sacrifices short-term profitability for the sake of adhering to those values”
The free market economy is, whether we want it or not, a central aspect of our lives. The bad side effects – like burnouts, the growing gap between rich and poor and climate change – start to become clearer. So to which end do we have this free market economy? Why do we work so hard? Can’t we just work fifteen hours a week like Keynes once predicted? A lecture organized by Moral Markets in collaboration with Studium Generale of Erasmus University Rotterdam.
“The widget economy has given way to something entirely different: the passion economy. Whereas the previous economy was fueled by mass production and homogeneity, growth in the passion economy involves more specialized products that less people want more intensely. This shift creates more dynamic, less linear career paths that evolve and change as you do. Ultimately, this will lead to more fulfilling and better paid work.”
“As the coronavirus pandemic grows, it brings a secondary, economic disaster—unemployment, small business closings, local government budget shortfalls. Given the way our economy is structured, widespread job losses and plummeting consumer demand trigger a whole lot of suffering. But, as philosopher Barbara Muraca explained in 2013, the activist and scholarly movement known as degrowth is building a vision of a society where economies would get smaller by design—and people would be better off for it.”
Interested in this topic? Visit the Moral Markets book shelf on economic (de)growth
“After the 2008 financial crisis, we learned the hard way what happens when governments flood the economy with unconditional liquidity, rather than laying the foundation for a sustainable and inclusive recovery. Now that an even more severe crisis is underway, we must not repeat the same mistake”, writes economist Mariana Mazzucato.
“Many governments – including the UK and the US – have announced fiscal stimulus packages, including tax relief, to individuals and business. Such measures are welcome, but our new research suggests that they should be understood against broader shifts in the tax regime which leave society less able to withstand the pandemic. As we show by looking at American companies, these shifts reinforce inequality not only between large and small firms but also between high and low-income households. The result is a fraying social fabric through which the coronavirus can spread rapidly.”
“The promises of virtualization and automation are often exaggerated, as are their dangers. It is possible for an increasingly virtualized and automated economy to actually be more humane, but only if such an economy does justice to the human realities of incarnation and relation”, so Moral Markets researcher Jordan Ballor argues.
“On this episode, Kate and Luigi talk with Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman about his new book Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future, why he thinks the US economy has failed the middle class, and how we can create a better economic future for our children.”
“Even for someone like Elon Musk, meaningful work is a logical impossibility. This is the sort of thing Taggart discusses with his ‘conversation partners’ […] To get us on the right track, he’s been raising awareness, in lectures among other things, about ‘Total Work,’ the idea that today’s society shapes us not into reflective and civic-minded citizens but into Workers, people who live to be productive.”
“The COVID-19 crisis leaves some people more vulnerable than others to the economic and social fallout. The G20 should create initiatives that reflect the inclusive foundations of the Marshall Plan rather than the inadequate bailouts of the Great Recession.”
“the Covid-19 crisis-laden political discourse of the present reveals to us the essence of neoliberalism as a social order founded on a series of inversions. At least three of these are suddenly identifiable in their re-inversion presently. (1) There is no such thing as individuals, there are collectivities and there is society. […] (2) If neoliberals truly understood economics they wouldn’t be neoliberals. […] (3) There is an alternative.”
“The materialist analysis of the coronavirus pandemic conducted here suggests that now that the Covid particle has become part of the global capitalist market-assemblage, there is no way to resolve both public health and economic crises in parallel. […] The alternative is to re-engineer the social and economic relations of the economy. It is unrealistic to imagine the wholesale abandonment of global capitalism any time soon, and it is unclear what might be put in its place. But there are some measures that can mitigate the way a virus such as Covid19 can spread.”