Nicholas Phillipson’s new biography of Adam Smith would have deserved all the praise it has received, if slavery had not been such a fundamental contributor to the wealth that Smith, Glasgow, and Scotland enjoyed. Philliipson’s omission of the role of slavery in early capitalism, however, continues the legacy of an economics of dissociation that began with Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. It is time to tell the whole truth, or at least those elements that could actually promote the integrity of economics. See my review of Phillipson’s book, Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life, in the August issue of the Review of Social Economics
Do you want a government run by a CEO, guided by commercial interests, that works for the wealthy; or a government run by civic leaders, guided by civic norms, that honors everyone’s basic human rights? We need to understand this choice.
In light of the mess in Washington D.C, (and elsewhere) perhaps we need some sort of recovery program for “true believers”—a kind of True Believers Anonymous. It need not follow the famous 12 steps of AA, but it would probably include the following:
So congress swallowed the idea that corporations are “job creators,” but they did not say much about the kinds of jobs corporations might create, or if these jobs really address our needs. It turns out there may be a serious disconnect here.