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Friday, March 9, 2018

Should Economists Have Moral Leanings?

Arguments for and against economist having moral leanings is something debated within their community. Some of us roll our eyes when people throw moral judgments out in the world with radical beliefs on both sides of nearly any political or economic argument. However, there is a place for some warnings but analysis must be bias free.

No: Economists are like scientists and should not have moral leanings. They should seek to be objective in all cases and simply evaluate the economy and determine the findings. The more moral they get, the more skewed their judgement.

Yes: The economists should not seek to create wealth for the already wealthy. Where and how they focus will determine what information is available and how that information can be used. Focusing more on the needs of raising all of society could lead to better management.

However, an economist certainly could give warnings as human behavior and people's beliefs are part of what runs the economy. Growing income gaps, consolidation of power in the hands of the few, desperate poor, pollution and unfair court systems all would have an impact on economic growth.

To answer this question we can say "yes and no". They should be objective in their analysis but not be afraid to give warnings if research supports the idea that violation of standard moral principles may lead to economic calamity. Since when wasn't ethical business part of opportunity and economic advancement?

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