Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

General Issues

See the classroom itself as a place for civic conversations and discuss how to create the conditions in class for such conversations.

Encourage students to explore the difference between property and provision in terms of education, their careers, and their life-plans.

Explore the context in which we live today, and assumptions about how we get what we have.

Research Questions

What is the current relationship between private and public agencies in providing some particular good or service (such as food or water)?

What is the relationship between early capitalism and slavery?

Who are the real providers of wealth today and are they protected?

What is the real basis of labor relations today: property relations or civic relations?

Classroom Argumentative Dialogues

See The Ethical Process (Prentice-Hall, 2003) for a method to create argumentative dialogues on controversial issues. Then select controversial issues within different systems of provision. For example:

The food system:

  1. Should the U.S. government continue to support farmers, which make their products cheaper on global markets?
  2. Should eating habits be a matter of public health debates?
  3. What balance of persuasion, incentives, and regulation should we use to move toward a sustainable global diet?

The housing system:

  1. Should all new housing be built to generate its own energy use?
  2. Should housing destroyed by natural causes not be rebuilt if a similar event is likely in the future?

Small Group Work

Chapter 9 on Labor ¬†Divide the class into small groups to examine their view of themselves as students or as workers in terms of the “Two Views of Labor” table on page 117.

Chapter 10 on Land  Ask students to make a list of different types of land (forests, farms, urban parks, and so on) and then discuss how they should be managed.

To share your tips for using Civilizing the Economy in the classroom, contact Marvin.
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