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Does economics have moral significance?

Does economics have moral significance?

  • Yes

    Votes: 4 40.0%
  • No

    Votes: 5 50.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • I don't care (rootabega)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    10

tacomancer

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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.
 
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Gardener

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Do economics have moral implications?

Economic policy sure does.
 

Cold Highway

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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.
 

tacomancer

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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.
 

Gipper

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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.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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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.
 

The Mark

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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.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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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.
 

The Mark

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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.
 

other

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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.
 
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cubbies2ws

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Like all the forces of the universe that created us as a result, economics is AMORAL. At least it should be in the free-market sense of the word. I think it somewhat parallels the theory of evolution and survival of the fittest. These are also both amoral systems that do what they do better than anything else. It's just an endless series of cause--->effect of which it's stupid to try and think we can control, because we don't even know what's coming! We can't control the invisible hand!!
 
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