America's Economic Moralists: A History of Rival Ethics and Economics

America's Economic Moralists: A History of Rival Ethics and Economics

by Donald E. Frey, D. Frey
     
 

ISBN-10: 0791493512

ISBN-13: 9780791493519

Pub. Date: 02/12/2010

Publisher: State University of New York Press

Traces the history of two rival American economic moralities from colonial times to the present.

Since colonial times, two discernable schools have debated major issues of economic morality in America. The central norm of one morality is the freedom, or autonomy, of the individual and defines virtues, vices, obligations, and rights by how they contribute to

Overview

Traces the history of two rival American economic moralities from colonial times to the present.

Since colonial times, two discernable schools have debated major issues of economic morality in America. The central norm of one morality is the freedom, or autonomy, of the individual and defines virtues, vices, obligations, and rights by how they contribute to that freedom. The other morality is relational and defines economic ethics in terms of behaviors mandated by human connectedness. America’s Economic Moralists shows how each morality has been composed of an ethical outlook paired with a compatible economic theory, each supporting the other. Donald E. Frey adopts a multidisciplinary approach, not only drawing upon historical economic thought, American religious thought, and ethics, but also finding threads of economic morality in novels, government policies, and popular writings. He uses the history of these two supported yet very different views to explain the culture of excess that permeates the morality of today’s economic landscape.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791493519
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
02/12/2010
Pages:
247
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

1. Introduction

2. Colonial Faith: Work, Wealth, and the Wider Welfare

3. Acting for Self’s Sake: The Later Colonial Era

4. Laissez-Faire for Americans

5. Ethics Better than the Morals of Hermits

6. Religious Socialism: The Communal Moravians

7. Abolition: Human Dignity as a Boundary to Markets

8. Social Darwinists of Different Species

9. New Influences in Economics

10. The Social Gospel and Catholic Thought Around

11. The 1920s and 1930s: Depressed Old Values

12. Too Agnostic, Too Certain: Welfare Economics, Chicago Economics

13. Moralists of Twentieth-Century Capitalism

14. Unconventional Alternatives to the Conventional Wisdom

15. An Ecumenical Consensus on Economic Ethics

16. Summary, Assessments, and a Projection

Notes
Works Cited
Index

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