Is the Market Moral: A Dialogue on Religion, Economics and Justice / Edition 1

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Overview

In the great tradition of moral argument about the nature of the economic market, Rebecca Blank and William McGurn join to debate the fundamental questions —equality and efficiency, productivity and social justice, individual achievement and personal rights in the workplace, and the costs and benefits of corporate and entrepreneurial capitalism. Their arguments are grounded in both economic sophistication and religious commitment.

Rebecca Blank is an economist by training and describes herself as "culturally Protestant in the habits of mind and heart." She has also chaired the committee that wrote the statement on Christian faith and economic life adopted by the United Church of Christ. Addressing market failure, for her, requires that sometimes "freedom to choose" give way to other human values.

William McGurn, a journalist and a Roman Catholic, uses his expertise in economics to reflect on the teachings of the church concerning the morality of the market. For McGurn, humans reach their fullest potential when they are free from the constraints of others. He writes that "our quarrel is not so much with Adam Smith or Milton Friedman but with the Providence that so clearly designed man to be his most prosperous at his most free."

This book grapples with the new imperatives of a global economy while working in the classic tradition of political economy which always treated seriously the questions of morality, justice, productivity, and freedom.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"lively and accessible...[Blank] and McGurn challenge readers to consider a spectrum of ways that individuals and groups may engage their faith, as they live within and beyond markets." —Robyn Klay, Hope College, Faith and Economics

"... a literate discussion of serious issues of economic equality, efficiency, productivity, and social justice. The contrasting views of two strong-willed, intelligent, faithful, and astutely reasoned individuals." — Library Bookwatch, 7/1/2004

"Seldom does one read a book on economics so well thought out and well written that it can treat a complex subject this thoroughly and understandably in only 151 pages... clearly both authors are exceptional thinkers and writers." —Gerald F. Vaughn, retired, University of Delaware, Journal of Economic Issues, 3/1/2005

"Every economist could benefit from reading this book. It explores fundamental questions about the role and moral implications of the market in society...with honesty and a fresh new relevance." —Robert H. Nelson, University of Maryland, Journal of Economic Literature, 3/1/2005

"This book would be a particularly useful study for a seminary-level course in economic ethics, or perhaps a clergy or parish book study group. It is well referenced and accessibly written." —Wendy Dackson, Anglican Theological Review

"For feminist economists interested in religion and/or in the perspectives of leading US female social scientists, this book will make interesting reading." —Julie A. Nelson, Tufts University, Feminist Economics, 7/1/2006

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Rebecca M. Blank is dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. She was senior staff economist with the Council of Economic Advisers during the first Bush administration and was appointed to the council under President Clinton. William McGurn is chief editorial writer and a member of the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal. He has also held key positions for National Review and Far Eastern Economic Review.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Viewing the Market Economy Through the Lens of Faith 11
Markets and Morals 57
A Reply to McGurn 91
A Reply to Blank 102
Creating a Virtuous Economy 111
Creative Virtues of the Economy 129
Contributors 145
Index 147
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