Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

The Economics of Charity

Posted Dec 16, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

Robert Shiller, a professor of economics at Yale, wrote in Sunday’s New York Times (12/16/12) that in changing the tax code, we should not “mess with the charitable deduction.”  Once we grasp the meaning of his argument, I think we can understand a lot about what is wrong with American economic ideology.

Adam Smith & Slavery

Posted Nov 12, 2010 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 3 Comments

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, or almost a thousand.  As I demonstrate in Civilizing the Economy, Adam Smith knew that the slave-based tobacco trade was a major source of wealth in Scotland and especially in Glasgow, where he lived when collecting material for The Wealth of Nations.  Instead of telling us this, he tells us about the invisible hand, a good illustration of what we can call the economics of dissociation:  a process of splitting off the misery of the real providers of wealth and then feeling optimistic about market dynamics.

Marvin T. Brown, Ph.D teaches business and organizational ethics at the University of San Francisco and Saybrook University in San Francisco.

This book is the culmination of 30 years of teaching and writing on business and society from a communicative perspective. Visit for more information.

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