Moral Foundation Of Economic Beliefs

An interesting article over at poses the question, “What is the moral foundation of your economic beliefs?”

Do you find it natural to accept the varied religious beliefs of others even if they contradict your own? On the other hand, are you often at odds with people who espouse different economic beliefs and policies? Why, especially if the former forms the foundation for the latter?

Would you ever use the ballot box to force others to practice your religion or make them pay to build you a church? Why do you find it easy to do this with your economic beliefs, compelling others to foot the bill for the public policies you promote?

It’s a good read, so do click for the full article.


8 thoughts on “Moral Foundation Of Economic Beliefs

  1. You’re getting ignored here Fleeced; – bastards, I blame Humphreys and Andrews.

    Actually it is a bit of an eye opener, and a test of economic morality. Unfortunately those who give answers different to ours will probably not realize that there is anything wrong with their thinking, as while there are important philosophical and moral aspects to the article, there seems to be a lack of direction as to where we are supposed to end up.

    I am reminded of the cartoon in Defending the Undefendable,(The non-contributor to charity) where the poor guy is pleading for help from the rich guy who says, “Go inherit your own money.”

  2. You’re getting ignored here Fleeced; – bastards, I blame Humphreys and Andrews.

    Yeah – posting topics that people can argue over instead of self reflection – It’s a conspiracy!

    Seriously though, it was more just an interesting (imo) link rather than something warranting much discussion. I was actually thinking that this blog could do with a “hot links” section – similar to‘s “Headlines” section for such a purpose.

    while there are important philosophical and moral aspects to the article, there seems to be a lack of direction as to where we are supposed to end up.

    Well, it poses a list of questions to get people to see their contradictory ideas, and then asks them what they intend to do about it. Will that bring people around to a more libertarian way of thinking? Probably not – but at the very least, some of the opening questions make good soundbites – which “our side” can always use more of.

  3. To make you feel better, I’ll answer the rhetorical question.

    I am not a utilitarian. My ideas on liberty are based on the underlying morality of liberty (in fact, I’d argue that there is no such thing as a purely utilitarian view). I dont really care for the economics. If the underlying morality is right, the economics can fall where they may.

    Whether the system is the most efficient is irrelevant. If someone where to prove that a totalitarian system was more efficient, it would make little difference because the morality that underlies totalitarianism is so utterly flawed.

  4. I thought the article was great and is inherently libertarian.

    Getting others to think like a libertarian requires this sort of questioning. You don’t make progress by telling, but by leading them to their own conclusions.

    And there are plenty of people who like to think they are libertarian but turn into raving control freaks on individual issues. This sort of questioning also encourages them to confront their own contradictions.

  5. I’m coming around to the belief that Libertarianism springs from natural laws of physics. Newton revealed that for every action, there is a reaction, and there seem to be human-scale equivalents, as well. If a comedian tries to raise himself by denigrating others, we lower him in our minds, to balance out the two. If a comedian makes jokes about himself (many of Bill cosby’s routines were about himself growing up), we raise him in our own estimation.
    If governments initiate action on their citizens, we, the citizens, naturally want to retaliate against the action, if we can.
    If someone gives unwanted, un-asked-for, death, we feel it only right that they get death in return (natural justice).

  6. I think this is an excellent article Fleeced. It’s short and easy to read too.

    This is the type of thing that 18 year olds should be exposed to. Young adults who are entering the grown up world. The transition to adulthood is the ideal time to consider philosophical questions. At this point in life, you are now legally accountanble for your actions, you are now required to vote (in Australia) and more generally you may be looking for ways to improve the world and your life. You are also at an age where you will probably (conciously or unconciously) determine a set of ethical principles to guide you through your career, family and personal life. You’ll never have all the answers but you can at least challenge contradictions that you can identify.

  7. So morality can be deduced from the natural world, and we should always expect justice and fairness in our social systems. We should build Libertarianism from the ground up, from natural laws, thus making it unassailable by mobsters and lobbyists.

Comments are closed.