Saturday, November 26, 2005

Ideas and Economic Systems II

Was Karl Marx right about the economy? Are Fortune 500 CEOs doing the right things? Do big companies like Walmart, GM, and Merck really do more good that harm in society? Would it be better if the public controlled the economy rather than individual business people? So many questions, so little time!

Anyway, the point of these blogs on social institutions is to raise issues regarding the ideas we hold, not to reveal The Truth or to criticize. In that spirit, I would like you to think about the following list of ideas that some people have about the economy.
  • Government intervention in the economy is almost always a bad idea.
  • The system is fair (or unfair).
  • Our economic system is superior.
  • Our economic system is natural.
  • Capitalism is superior to socialism.
  • Capitalism is evil.
  • Economic growth is always good.
  • Socialism is a better (fairer) system than capitalism.
Which ones do you agree with and why? Can you trace your thinking to a specific source or sources? If you are like most people, this author included, then you probably have a hard time coming up with specific sources for your ideas. Even worse, you may have a hard time coming up with logical or factual reasons for holding those ideas. Most people are in the same boat with regards to one or more of our social institutions.

Like all other social institutions that economic system is supported by ideas that may not be well supported by facts or logic. Of course facts and logic are not the only reasons for ideas about the economic system to take hold. There are other benefits (and consequences) to consider.

Next time I think that I'll focus on the treatment of economic activity as sacred. What are the causes and consequences of this idea?


Post a Comment

<< Home

Find Blogs in the Blog Directory