Thursday, November 29, 2012

Morality and economics are not necessarily two separate studies. In my opinion, they should inform one another to the degree that neither should be inconsistent with the other. Truths about economics are true independent of morality, except when defining "good" and "evil". For example, if morally we can determine that efficiency and productivity in a society is "good', then we should employ economic policies which be conducive to efficient and productive societies. If, however, it is determined that those attributes are "evil", we ought to introduce economic policies which will diminish the efficiency and productivity of a society. i.e. if we decide that freedom is good then we should strive for economic freedom, if chaos is good then economic chaos, etc.

Personally, I do not think that there are any points of morality directly related to economics beyond believing stealing is evil. Regardless, I believe that a forced action cannot be a good or evil action, and that it is necessarily evil to force someone to do something except when by forcing them not to do evil you can create good (in which case it would be neutral, as would being forced to do something); I think that freedom is good, and so I believe that freedom, even to choose to do evil, is better than being forced to do "good". I also believe that efficient and productive societies are at least desirable, not from a moral perspective but a pragmatic and self-interested one. I advocate for efficient and productive societies, but it is not morality that leads me to advocate for them.

Essentially, morality should inform economics in the same way that it informs everything else; It should define good, and economics, or whatever else, should be practiced in good ways.

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