Articles & Blogs on the Ethics of Markets / Economics / Business

Market Power

“It is a no-brainer that business people don’t really like competitive market capitalism, despite all their exhortations about the value of markets. Just read any of The Wealth of Nations to find Adam Smith with the same view. Business people much prefer rigged markets, as long as they are on the inside. So it is no surprise that new research finds that converting health care insurance from non-profit to for-profit leads to a rise in premiums (not the fall that would be anticipated because of greater market efficiencies).”

Redemptive Entrepreneurship: In a Globalized Economy, Who Is Our Neighbor?

“In our globalized and interconnected world, we inhabit vast networks of creative exchange with widely dispersed neighbors. This leads to real and thriving communities far and wide—a great and mysterious collaboration. But as we continue to strengthen those social bonds across economic life, how do we stay faithful and attentive to our more proximate community spheres?”

We All Want Increased Choice in Elder Care – But Neoliberal Health Policies Make This Difficult

“While governments pay lip service to the notion of choice, their disinvestment in public home care services means that older people and their families often have no choice but to ‘choose’ for-profit home care providers, as these are becoming the norm for elder home care. […] Home care is a high involvement purchase, which requires considerable time and emotional investment. But people in need of care might not have all the necessary information, skills or time required to navigate intricate care markets.”

Davos Is Losing Its Shine

“The glitzy invite-only event is attended by over 3,000 decision-makers, top CEOs, civil society representatives and more than 60 heads of state who all come together […] Davos is essentially a symbol of crony capitalism camouflaging as a pro-globalization voice. In recent years, the summit has included social activists, environmental groups and even trade unionists within its folds. But its core group is made of billionaires and multinationals indulging in transnational tax avoidance that fuels global income and wealth inequality.”

The Myth of the Idle Rich

“This month Oxfam released a report, as it does every year, pointing out that there are some very rich people in the world and how terrible this is. The report gained a great deal of media attention (as it does every year), with the vast majority of political commentators agreeing that it really is disgusting that some people are very, very rich. Despite the report’s very obvious flaws, and Oxfam’s unhelpful obsession with inequality, it does raise an interesting question. Just who are the wealthiest people in the world, and how did they get so filthy rich?”

The ‘Sharing Economy’ Simply Dresses up Our Consumerist Tendencies in a More Palatable Ideology

“This shift to peer-to-peer transactions is often portrayed as an antidote to the consumer culture of modern society because it supports sharing instead of ownership. But have sharing platforms simply created a new form of capitalism? Research suggests that rather than transforming us, the sharing economy simply repackages our same old consumerist impulses in a more appealing message.”

What Is Socialism Like in China?

“China has undergone massive economic reforms over the last few decades while remaining officially communist. The state still has tremendous power over the economy, but private enterprise and markets dominate daily life. The question of if the Chinese economy is technically capitalist remains unanswered.”

Philosopher Alan Watts on the Difference between Money and Wealth

“What would you do if money was no object? […] Now money is a fundamental fact of our current constructed reality, even Alan Watts understood that. Barter, exchange, value, currency and what have you – there is absolutely no feasible way around it. So leave your pipe dreams and utopian visions at the door, just entertain the question at face value for now. It’s probing for something much deeper than some cheap ideological economic fix.”

Free Exchange: Paul Collier on the Future of Capitalism

“This week’s guest on Free Exchange, the CapX podcast, is Sir Paul Collier, Professor of Economics at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. […] His latest book, The Future of Capitalism, deals with what he thinks has gone wrong not in a failed African state, but here in the West. And he thinks our political and economic system isn’t living up to the promises we make about it.”

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