13

First, it is worth noting that much of what we call "positive economics" is based on weak ethical considerations, namely Pareto improvements. But, Pareto gets in the way whenever a policy would harm one group (or individual) in order to benefit others (that is, most policies). We cannot compare utility across people--we have no basis for saying, for ...


10

The money from "blood diamonds" isn't bad because of some abstract moral principles but because of practical implications: it is used to finance brutal rebel groups. The "bad money" is used for them for purchases of weapons etc. From the moral point of view the whole chain is the same evil because it is used to finance warlords and provide them with means ...


10

The "Claim" makes little sense from a purely theoretical basis: People forget what fiduciary action is. The leadership of a corporation whose stock you hold is legally bound to make you money when that is permissible, reasonable and within their charter. If they are getting away with behaving outside those bounds, they are nonetheless doing so on behalf ...


9

First, selfishness does not mean putting yourself before the masses. It means doing what is in your rational self interest. In order to make your life better you have to try to discover stuff about how the world works and how to change the world to make your life better. Rationality is about accepting the responsibility of judging issues yourself, rejecting ...


7

Economists often get involved in answering normative questions, otherwise they'd never comment on government policy. Many of the failings in economic models have been attributed to rational-agent theory (or Homo economicus) who is able to think clearly and logically about any information since he has the benefit of perfect information and perfect insight. ...


7

I'll use "liberal" (in the European sense) instead of "pro-capitalist" here, as I think it's more relevant. Socialist philosophy is based on seeing faults and injustices in society and wanting to fix them by implementing total equality of outcome. Its aim and desire is to make people equal. It as such tends to attract people who want everybody to be the ...


6

As a practical matter, its not moral to refuse to pay taxes because of a single action of the government. In a democracy, you never get your way entirely and every individual can make a creditable moral case that something the government does constitutes an intolerable use of its violence based powers. If everyone felt justified in not paying taxes because ...


6

You might look at philosopher Margaret Schabas's 2006 book The Natural Origins of Economics, about the emergence of the very idea of “economy.” Schabas is a historically-oriented philosopher who writes clearly for a broad audience. For an overview of the range of issues about economics discussed by philosophers, and references to their publications, The ...


6

Aristotle in the Politics wrote about the nature of money, and his views remained highly influential at least until the end of the 19th century. According to Aristotle the purpose (telos) of money is threefold: Money is essential for trade because of the inefficiency of barter. The primary purpose of money is therefore as a medium of exchange. Money is a ...


5

In a situation of limited resources, that doesn't seem to hold up; if I were given my state's entire treasury, for instance, it would undoubtedly be good for me, but disastrous for the state as a whole. I think you are misunderstanding, or mis-applying, the rule. If being given the state's entire treasury is good for you, it would likewise be good for ...


5

Marx didn't think that the state should have any role in the economy. The essence of his philosophy is that in the ultimate classless society, the state will have "withered away": "State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the ...


5

It would do well to separate the question into two, one being about Marx and Smith and another concerning the differences between Marxism and bourgeois economic theory. In point of fact, Adam Smith was a key contributor to the development of the Labor Theory of Value as was David Ricardo who followed on his heels. It was then Marx who took the LTV to its ...


5

Understanding capitalism requires understanding a constellation of concepts that reinforce each other. I'll try to make some headway here. A helpful way to think about capital is as the aggregate of all non-labour inputs to production. Some would include land as a factor of production as well, and some others would consider human capital to be a form of ...


5

A counter question may be the best answer: does the fact that a teacher makes half as much money as an engineer imply that a teacher is half as effective at improving the lives of others? This line of reasoning approaches the question of whether currency is a good measure of value. There are many situations where it is a good measure, then there are the ...


4

You can find a good overview of the field of Buddhist Economics, and a preliminary bibliography, on the Wikipedia page on the subject.


4

Firstly, the possible objection you raise does not really hold up since the market should price in such perceived liquidity issues, forcing the initial offer price of company Y to be as attractive as company Z. There is a third scenario which you do not mention. Buying shares in evil company X allows you to do two things : Invest dividends receivable into ...


4

A wording change has to be made first: "If A claims that his money bought the item..." is false. His money did not buy the item. At the time of purchase, it was not owned by him. It was owned by the organization. Also, money does not buy things. The organization buys things. Money is used to pay for things. The wording needs to have a past tense, and ...


4

The reason there isn't a huge amount of philosophical criticism is that the answer is simple and well-understood: if your premises are false, your conclusions may be also even if your reasoning is valid. But there is a rather famous exposition by John Stuart Mill (summarized here) about the epistemological validity of economics in the face of not quite ...


4

The quote is from the preface to the first edition of Capital, although similar things can be found elsewhere in Marx's writings. To take a stab at the relation: The last sentence seems to reiterate a bit of the point of the preceding paragraph, namely that there are natural laws that guide economic and social development. The first paragraph more or less ...


3

Not really. At least for two reasons (but I'm sure there are more). First, Hobbes' "war of all against all" is a specific view of the "state of nature": there is no regulation, no sovereign, no law. Everyone is equal in the sense that everyone is free to take what they can, notwithstanding moral or any other regulative principles. Might is right. Perfect ...


3

My question is, have there been any critiques of Mises' praxeological theory? Sure. None have been successful though. 1 He who wants to attack a praxeological theorem has to trace it back, step by step, until he reaches a point in which, in the chain of reasoning that resulted in the theorem concerned, a logical error can be unmasked. But if this ...


3

I needed the complete citation from the book. I think it was a typo, because I think the question was: why Flat tax isn't so good to society or capitalism's justice. If the government creates a rule that says everyone must pay an equal share of their income, revenue will be restricted to the rate that the lowest earning workers can afford to pay. $100 ...


3

I'm not terribly good with economic theory, but it seems a little unjust that no one was able to step up on this one last year. Still, it deserves an answer. ... If we took only the reason that "a [flat] tax contributes to the welfare of the Netherlands", then it's fairly obvious that this is not a capitalist concern, and certainly doesn't pick out enough ...


3

Your question refers to the domain of rational choice theory (RCT). Many leading figures in economics, e.g. the neoclassical school of Milton Friedman, advocated the use of unrealistic assumptions in economic theory. But there's also a lot of opposition within economics. However, as far as I can see, what is under discussion is not the unrealistic status of ...


3

The word you are most likely translating as 'desire' is tanha (taṇhā), literally thirst. A better translation might be 'craving'. Without desire how could one follow the Buddhist teachings? ("I might like to study the suttas, practice meditation, cultivate loving-kindness, but frankly, I don't desire it." -- is inconsistent with the Buddha's teaching). ...


3

The short answer is no, you have not really critiqued the Marxian theory of value here. One key thing to clarify is that all capital is also a form of labor. Here I will quote the earlier answer, "Ask yourself, where do the parts of the mechanized factory come from?" Here Marx makes a helpful distinction between "living" labor and "dead" labor. Machinery ...


3

The traditional critique of marginalist economics is that it is "autistic" (although I find this language somewhat unfortunate) in the sense that its minimal empiricism can only discover how a constants in a set of mathematical data relate to each other. Within the discipline of economics, it is considered "good" and approaching a science when it discovers ...


3

In general, the terms I've used are: Bourgeoisie - the capitalist class who own most of society's wealth and means of production. Proletariat - workers or working-class people, regarded collectively Those seemed to be the most common and applicable terms when I was reading Marx. EDIT: Thanks Google!


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