View Poll Results: Does economics have moral significance?

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Thread: Does economics have moral significance?

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    Does economics have moral significance?

    Economics Is Not A Morality Play - NYTimes.com

    But maybe this is an opportunity to reiterate a point I try to make now and then: economics is not a morality play. It’s not a happy story in which virtue is rewarded and vice punished. The market economy is a system for organizing activity — a pretty good system most of the time, though not always — with no special moral significance. The rich don’t necessarily deserve their wealth, and the poor certainly don’t deserve their poverty; nonetheless, we accept a system with considerable inequality because systems without any inequality don’t work.
    In the above quote, Paul Krugman argues that the winners and losers in monetary terms are not reflective of any moral significance. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?

    Edit: Forgot to make this poll public, can a mod please fix that? Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 09-29-10 at 10:48 AM.

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    Re: Does economics have moral significance?

    Do economics have moral implications?

    Economic policy sure does.
    "you're better off on Stormfront discussing how evil brown men are taking innocent white flowers." Infinite Chaos

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    Re: Does economics have moral significance?

    Well it depends on the person, lets take 401ks for example; alot of 401ks are more or less mutual funds. Some may object to taking a particular fund if said fund is profiting from smoking, porn or some foreign tyrant while others just want to make money.
    Jackboots always come in matched pairs, a left boot and a right boot.

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    Re: Does economics have moral significance?

    Quote Originally Posted by chevydriver1123 View Post
    Well it depends on the person, lets take 401ks for example; alot of 401ks are more or less mutual funds. Some may object to taking a particular fund if said fund is profiting from smoking, porn or some foreign tyrant while others just want to make money.
    That would be investing, not economics. I am asking about the subject in general.

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    Re: Does economics have moral significance?

    No, economics is completely neutral because it is nothing more than a tool. That's like asking if a gun has moral significance. It is also nothing but a tool, and the "moral significance" lies with the one standing behind the gun.

    Therefore, economics does not. Economists do.

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    Re: Does economics have moral significance?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Economics Is Not A Morality Play - NYTimes.com



    In the above quote, Paul Krugman argues that the winners and losers in monetary terms are not reflective of any moral significance. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?

    Edit: Forgot to make this poll public, can a mod please fix that? Thanks in advance.
    Certainly.
    Your decisions whether moral or immoral can lead you to ruin or prosperity.

    Of course, it doesn't always happen that way but more often than you'd think.
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    Re: Does economics have moral significance?

    Nope.

    Economics can't have moral significance (at least as I see it).

    Now, some things that economics would tell you to do, might violate your moral code. And to an extent, the morals of the area you are examining economically might have an effect on the economics of said area. But economics itself doesn't have any moral significance I can think of.
    Education.

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    Re: Does economics have moral significance?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    Nope.

    Economics can't have moral significance (at least as I see it).

    Now, some things that economics would tell you to do, might violate your moral code. And to an extent, the morals of the area you are examining economically might have an effect on the economics of said area. But economics itself doesn't have any moral significance I can think of.
    Not trying to be jerk but this is easily disprovable.

    You commit murder, you are locked away for most of your life.
    You will most likely not amass any wealth.

    Not to mention that market based economics requires a legal structure based on some sort of agreed morality.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
    —Adam Shepard

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    Re: Does economics have moral significance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Not trying to be jerk but this is easily disprovable.

    You commit murder, you are locked away for most of your life.
    You will most likely not amass any wealth.

    Not to mention that market based economics requires a legal structure based on some sort of agreed morality.
    True…perhaps I did not convey my thoughts correctly.

    I was trying to say that the...procedures and methods involved in "economics", as a method for examining/analyzing the economy of an area, do not have any direct moral significance. Decisions made using economics as part of the decision making process may, but economics itself does not.

    Moral issues may have economic significance, but I don't think the reverse is true. At least not directly.
    Education.

    Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

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    Re: Does economics have moral significance?

    I don't think economics, or exchange, has any intrinsic moral "force" behind it but people attach moral implications to it all the time. krugman does so himself, as he insinuates that low or no unemployment is preferable to high unemployment, leading him to cry out for increasing government spending as something we unequivocally "need" to do.
    Last edited by other; 09-30-10 at 04:55 PM.

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