Generous Orthodoxy  

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The morality of economics

Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Keynesian economist at Columbia, has written a book, Free Fall, in which he sharply criticizes Obama for his policies addressing the Great Recession. He calls for much more aggressive regulation and laments Obama's recycling of Larry Summers and Robert E. Rubin, whom he associates with past errors. These views are, of course, debatable. However, the review in The New York Times by Michiko Kakutani offers this summary, which should surely gain the attention of Christians:

Mr. Stiglitz argues that "the failures in our financial system are emblematic of broader failures in our economic system, and the failures of our economic system reflect deeper problems in our society"--including growing inequities of wealth, a lack of accountability on the part of business and political leaders, and an emphasis on short-term gains as opposed to long-term benefits...

He also talks about the "moral deficit" that Americans' "unrelenting pursuit of profits" and self-interest have created.