Human economies can be understood in more than one way.
- The private business economy is what economics textbooks are generally about.
- The public purpose economy consists of governments and their agencies as well as non-profits and international institutions like the World Bank or the United Nations. The public purpose economy is a collection of institutions that are justified by their stated intention to act for some broader good than their own profit or enrichment – though they may differ widely in their definitions of what is “good”.
- The core economy is where households and communities carry on their internal activities of production, distribution and consumption. The core economy’s justification and purpose is the survival and well-being of its members. It is located in home, family, and neighborhood; places that function as markets for emotional, social, and civic transactions. This paper will consider some distinguishing characteristics of these three economies – in particular: their goals or justifications; what currency they use; what kind of demand they respond to; and how they define and reward work.
The second half of the paper will offer reflections on the harms caused by an excessive dominance of the private business economy over the other two, with thoughts on some of what will be required to redress this balance. It will conclude with an image of a healthier relationship between humanity and our natural environment – a relationship that will inevitably come about, whether we choose to move into it positively, or are forced into it by breakdowns in all of our economies resulting from natural and social disasters.
Yesterday, a soundclip recorded at a political rally the night before was being circulated on social media which troubled me dearly, as the tone and message was confrontational, gangster in style, and negative in its nature.
In mainstream economics scripting, government is either bumbler or villain. Cast as market fixer, intervenor, enforcer or redistributor, the state cannot but act inefficiently or, worse, illegitimately. Public goods and collective action are called “problems,” the commons a “tragedy.” Even today’s so-called “public economics,” as represented by the “public choice” school, is decidedly anti-public. It was not always thus. More than a century ago, economists theorized the state as a framework of collective agency for public purpose and understood government as a producer meeting collective needs. A cogent concept of “the public economy” guided this nascent field of public economics, long since lost to historic upheavals and repression by proponents of market-centric rational choice theory.
This paper rejects today’s orthodoxy and its artful, but artificial, construct that subverts the ability of the public economic system to produce on behalf of the polity. I call instead for the embrace of a new public economics that returns to lost roots while breaking new ground by taking into account the biophysical imperatives of production. The model offered here takes a systems perspective (as did Quesnay and early 18th- century Physiocrats); recognizes a public economy with distinctive purpose and drivers (as did the “German Public Economics” theorist Gerhard Colm in the 1920’s); and focuses on government as a producer (as did Paul Studenski in the 1930s-50s). Finally, it draws on two centuries of physics and on 21st century systems ecology in recognizing biophysical imperatives inherent to production. Developing and promoting a cogent theory of the public economy system is vital to the effective operation and, ultimately, the survival of the governmental systems by which democratic nation-states function today. The simplistic type-casting of government, the “market-failure” rationalization for state action, the invalid imposition of market axioms and assumptions on the public domain, the disregard of public purpose must all be rejected. It is time for a Reformation of public economics.
I have been involved in studying and working within what is now called the Anthropocene for almost 50 years, and in all that time, not only have we failed to make much progress, but the state of the Earth’s ecosystems has generally worsened. Yet somehow we must create a world in which everyone on Earth has good health and a good quality of life—a matter of social justice—while living within the physical and ecological constraints of the one small planet that is our home; this is the focus of the new field of planetary health. Our worsening situation is not due to lack of knowledge, science and technology; in broad terms, we knew most of the challenges and many of the needed solutions back in the 1970s. Instead, the challenges we face are social, rooted in cultural values, political ideologies, legal and economic systems, ethical principles and spiritual/religious beliefs. Therefore, we have to move beyond science and technology and address these broader socio-cultural issues by engaging in economic, legal and political work, complementing and supplementing ‘head stuff’ with ‘heart, gut and spirit stuff’, and working from the grass roots up.
Abstract The world needs wise leaders, but wisdom is clearly in short supply these days if the state of the world is any evidence. Just think of climate change, ecological damages done by modern industrial and agricultural practices, and collapsing and unfair mortgage and financial markets, not to mention the growing gap between rich and poor, as examples. But generally, the need for wisdom in leaders and managers, which is defined by Ackoff (Reflections 1(1): 14–24, 1999) as the capacity to think through the (short and long-term) consequences of actions, is under-appreciated. Using as a basis the argument that wisdom exists when three components—moral imagination (the good), systems understanding (the true), and aesthetic sensibility (the beautiful) are present (Waddock, Journal of Business Ethics Education 7: 177– 196, 2010), I explore the implications of this definition for teaching future leaders to be both wise and ethical in their decision making and actions.
Keywords Wisdom • Moral imagination • Systems • Aesthetics • Leadership
The Follow-Up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) is the Anticorruption Mechanism of the OAS. It brings together 33 of the 34 Member States to review their legal frameworks and institutions in the light of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.
In the 16 years that it has been in operation, the MESICIC has adopted more than 100 reports with recommendations for States to strengthen their legal frameworks and institutions to effectively combat corruption in areas such as prevention of conflict of interests; conservation of public resources; government procurement; government hiring; ethics training; systems for registering income, assets and liabilities; civil society participation in the fight against corruption; internal oversight in companies to detect and prevent corrupt practices; criminalization of acts of corruption, such as transnational bribery and illicit enrichment; protection of whistleblowers; mutual assistance in prosecuting and punishing those who commit acts of corruption and, as appropriate, their extradition; and oversight bodies responsible for the prevention, detection, punishment and eradication of such acts.
Causality is, as often said, not a law but the form of a law; a discourse used to bring some understanding to a chaotic world. In that discourse the two words “cause” (C) and “effect” (E) are subject to rules of speech: E cannot precede C in time. And the connective relating them, an arrow, like C–>E, translated as “C causes/leads to/is followed by E”, or some synonyms, is two-way.
The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies
Published on May 20, 2019
The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies was delighted to host this event at which founding proponents of Modern Monetary Theory, Professor Bill Mitchell and Warren Mosler, were joined by their colleague and fellow internationally respected author, Professor Martin J Watts.
Following the launch in March of the textbook ‘Macroeconomics’ and the inauguration of the MMT training college later this year the event focused on giving academics, teachers and the wider public the tools with which they can take a more critical approach to the subject by comparing and contrasting heterodox and orthodox approaches to theory and policy.
This event aimed to challenge preconceptions about how money works and explained how such an understanding offers a lens through which we can develop solutions to the pressing economic, social and ecological issues we face.
Table of Contents
♦ MODERN MONEY THEORY: THE BASICS
♦ Taxes and the Public Purpose
♦ CREATIONISM VERSUS REDEMPTIONISM: HOW A MONEY-ISSUER REALLY LENDS AND SPENDS
♦ Tax Bads, Not Goods
♦ DEBT-FREE MONEY: A NON-SEQUITUR IN SEARCH OF A POLICY
♦ Why Money Matters
♦ MODERN MONEY THEORY: How I came to MMT and what I include in MMT
♦ An MMT View of the Twin Deficits Debate
♦ A Conspiracy Against MMT? Chicago Booth’s Polling and Trolling
♦ A Must Read: Why does everyone hate MMT?
♦ HOW TO PAY FOR THE WAR Read More
Economic stimulus packages can never satisfactorily address the real problem of unemployment and underemployment in market economies, according to Randall L. Wray. He estimates real unemployment is close to 30 million people or 20% of the workforce in the USA. But there is an effective and affordable to achieve full employment through direct job creation programs financed by the US Government. In this webcast, Professor Wray discusses the short and long term causes of unemployment, the right to employment, the hidden costs of unemployment, the unrecognized benefits of full employment, theory of how job guarantee programs can effectively balance full employment and currency stability along with practical examples of successful programs. This presentation will be of interest to all those looking for a realistic practical strategy for addressing the problem of unemployment. Wray is Professor of Economics and Research Director of the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability at the University of Missouri–Kansas City and Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College in New York. He is author of numerous books including Money and Credit in Capitalist Economies and Understanding Modern Money: The Key to Full Employment and Price Stability. For a complete bio and list of Professor Wray’s publications and links to working papers, click here