The Moral Economy

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University of Michigan Press, 2000 - Business & Economics - 296 pages
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When all the momentous current changes in technology and social structure have run their course, we will have created a new world society. Will this society--the total complex of who we are and how we behave--resolve our major economic and social problems? This is the question that John P. Powelson addresses in his provocative new book, The Moral Economy.
In his discussion of worldwide problems--including poverty, the environment, population growth, ethnic bias, welfare, social security, and health care--Powelson proposes that solutions to social problems are best sought in a greater balance of power among social groups. He explains how to design institutional structures, like government, education, and religion, that will permit conflict to be resolved peacefully and fairly. He also shows how a moral economy--a balance between interventionism and libertarianism--and economic prosperity are mutually reinforcing.
The Moral Economy proposes a desirable world that is historically possible, if certain trends of the past millennium are continued into the next, and if world power becomes more diffuse. As we enter the twenty-first century, it looks to the horizon to suggest what a distant future might bring.
"[A] coherent and stunning scenario for the future of humankind. . . . a message for all epochs." --J. D. Von Pischke
John P. Powelson is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Colorado.
 

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Contents

Beyond the TwentyFirst Century
5
What When and How
8
Classic Liberalism
10
Balance of Power
11
Classic Liberalism and Interventionism
14
The Meaning of Liberal
16
Economic Morality and Institutions
18
Plan for This Book
19
The Wildest Hypothesis
119
Property Inflation and Money
120
Money and Inflation
128
Law Corruption Government Regulation and Taxes
138
Corruption
142
Government Regulation
148
Taxes
153
Education and Religion
160

Take Back the Word
20
Power and the Market
21
Vicarious Power
23
The Consumer and the Market
24
Intervention by the Private Sector
26
The PowerDiffusion Process
28
The History of Liberalism
32
Two Rules on Power
33
The Welfare State
35
Profit
36
Poverty
39
The Internal Gap
40
The Internal Gap Remains
41
The Internal Gap Narrows
49
Conclusion
55
Environment Population and Gender and Ethnic Bias
56
Pay the Cost
59
Global Warming and the Ozone Layer
63
Population
68
Inequality
72
Cultural Diversity and Affirmative Action
76
Conclusion
80
Welfare Social Security and Health Care
81
Welfare
82
Pensions and Social Security
86
Health Care
90
How Can Classic Liberal Arrangements Be Adopted?
97
Institutions of the Moral Economy
101
Accountability Trust and the Management of Resources
103
From Vertical to Mutual Accountability
104
Trust
110
Management of Resources
114
Religion
171
Morality and Values
176
Values
178
Respect for Human Rights
179
Confrontation and Compromise
185
A Moral Precept
190
Personal versus Business Morality
191
UkraineA Personal Interlude
195
Political Imperialism
196
Economic Failure
197
The Hostility of Russia
198
The Horizon
201
Separation of the Economic from other Subcultures
202
Economics as a Leading Force
204
Social Costs and Benefits
206
Redistributions of Income
207
Government
209
Nongovernmental Agencies
210
Education
211
Reorientation of Resources for Litigation and Behavior Control
212
Price Control and the Minimum Wage
213
War
215
CrossCultural Property Transactions
216
Compromise
219
The Case of a Less Developed Country
220
The East Asian Crisis of 199798
222
From Here to There
226
Notes
231
Bibliography
251
Index
265
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