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•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money.
•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes. .
•Liberals think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.
•The single most important problem in economics is the Gap between rich and poor.
•Austerity is the government’s method for widening the Gap between rich and poor.
•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..
What is the relationship between morality and economics? A few thoughts on the subject.
What is morality? How did it evolve? Is it strictly a human function or do animals have moral codes?
Merriam-Webster says morality is:
–beliefs about what is right behavior and what is wrong behavior.
–the degree to which something is right and good: the moral goodness or badness of something.
These definitions beg the questions, “‘Right’ and ‘wrong’ for what purpose?” “‘Good” or ‘bad’ by what standard?”
Think about your answers these questions:
–If murder is immoral, are our hero soldiers immoral? If not, why not? If so, why are they heroes?
–Why is it immoral to kill an enemy civilian?
–Is the death sentence for murder immoral?
–Why is cheating immoral?
–If immorality is related to unfairness, what exactly is unfairness and why might it be immoral?
–If you pray and your God grants your prayers, have you received an unfair advantage? Have you, in essence, cheated?
–Is it unfair that some people have much and some people have little, and if so, are those who have much, immoral?
–Are the rich less moral than the poor? Why or why not?
–Is it unfair that some are born with more intelligence, more athleticism, and greater beauty than others, and if so, does that make them immoral cheaters? If not, why not?
Some murderers taunt their victims before killing them. Some cats play with mice before killing them. Are cats immoral?
What is the purpose of a moral code?
Here is my proposed definition of morality: Any act that provides an evolutionary advantage for the survival of a species is moral.
Or said another way, a moral code is developed as the means to provide a species survival advantage.
In that sense, all social animals, from ants to humans, have created and follow rules, which together constitute their moral code.
Some rules are hardwired into each member’s genes, and some are optional for any individual member. But those, who choose to disobey the rules, are frowned upon and often are punished by the majority members of the species. Such people are felt to be immoral. Their actions threaten species survival.
Judeo-Christian religions have created the “Ten Commandments,” the first four or five of which (depending on the religion) support the religion, while the other Commandments (protect parents and prohibit murder, adultery, stealing, lying and covetousness) are to strengthen the society.
Other religions have codes of conduct, listing different actions as immoral, as do every nonsectarian group, all for the same purpose: To strengthen the group.
Certain acts may be perceived to provide individual, personal advantages. But if these advantages harm the evolutionary interests of the species, they will be seen as immoral; laws will be passed to prevent them; and the perpetrators often will be punished.
Evolutionary advantage is the basis for our legal code, though many laws are created by immoral or ignorant people; these are the laws that damage the evolutionary interests of our species.
Laws that prohibited African Americans from full participation in society were immoral, not only because they were unfair, but because they were antithetical to species survival.
Consider prejudice: Unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, regarding any group. Blanket hatred of blacks, yellows, browns, reds, Jews, Muslims, Christians, aliens or women all can be considered unreasonable — and all are immoral because they damage the evolutionary interests of our species. They make our species less safe.
As a species, our most powerful evolutionary feature is our intelligence. Evolution provided human females and males with equal intelligence. Thus the Muslim world’s suppression of women deprived it of half their population’s brain power, and no doubt is a reason for the dearth of recent scientific contributions by Muslim nations.
Russia’s, Germany’s and much of Europe’s loss of Jews to Israel and America damaged economic growth in those nations. The killing and ongoing suppression of Jews cost our entire species.
One cannot even begin to measure the economic cost of America’s bigotry aimed at people of color. Consider what we must have lost economically, because thousands of potential George Washington Carvers, Neil deGrasse Tysons, and James Wests never received the education necessary to fulfill their latent talents.
Deporting undocumented aliens, only because they did not jump through the Byzantine hoops demanded by immigration law, deprives us of the species survival assets these people would have brought.
Religion did not create morality; morality created religion. Religion persists despite providing no scientific truths, but rather because it is a powerful social builder and enforcer of moral rules.
Sadly, religion also tends to foster prejudices. Religion is like Longfellow’s Jemima: “And when she was good, she was very, very good, but when she was bad she was horrid.”
We tolerate the prejudices of religion, because its social building and moral enforcement is so beneficial to the survival our species. That is the fundamental purpose of religion.
Similarly, the fundamental purpose of economics is to identify and to advance the means for our species’ survival. That indeed, is the purpose of all sciences, and it provides the connection between religion and science: The same purpose with a different means.
Science misused can be as damaging as religion misused. Bigotry is religion misused. Austerity is economics misused. Any political group that endorses bigotry and/or austerity damages the evolutionary survival of the human species.
That’s what I think.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)
3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here
5. Salary for attending school (Click here)
6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually Click here
8. Tax the very rich (.1%) more, with higher, progressive tax rates on all forms of income. (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here and here)
10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)
The Ten Steps will add dollars to the economy, stimulate the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.
10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)
1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..
2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.
3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.
4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.
5. Cut financial assistance to the states.
6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.
7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.
8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.
9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.
10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt
No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.
1. A growing economy requires a growing supply of dollars (GDP=Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
2. All deficit spending grows the supply of dollars
3. The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.
4. The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.
THE RECESSION CLOCK
Recessions come after the blue line drops below zero.
Vertical gray bars mark recessions.
As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.
5 thoughts on “–What is the relationship between morality and economics?”
Brilliant Rodger, simple brilliance! ……….
Best health, wise man!
The judgment of an action as moral or immoral depends, though, on the boundary imposed on the group. You’ve chosen “species”, but it might just as well be “colony”, in the case of ants, or “nation” in the case of humans. More inclusively, and currently popular, it might be “planet”, and some day, “universe”.
It is also important to understand the causality involved in evolution. Non-human species, as far as we know, don’t evolve themselves in a conscious attempt to improve their survivability. Random genetic mutations occur constantly. Some confer an advantage, some a disadvantage, and some have no effect either way. Those that confer an advantage tend to propagate themselves, and the species evolves in response to the random mutation. Not the other way around.
Humans, as far as we know, are the only species that consciously evolves its behaviors. We did invent religions, and allow them to control behaviors. That was not a random mutation as in other species. We also invented economics, and other sciences, “hard” and social, and use them to try to understand and explain things that we observe. Our understanding is constantly evolving, and as it does, the standards of morality evolve with them. Sometimes the standards reverse themselves as our understanding evolves. An invention initially thought to be very beneficial may be discovered, after long experience, to be more harmful than beneficial, and what was once moral becomes immoral.
Anyway, my main point is that something that is beneficial to the species might be detrimental to the nation or to the planet. The frame of reference is crucial in making the moral/immoral judgment, just as much as is the evolution of our understanding of things around us.
Thank you for your comments.
Golfer, I especially like your last paragraph, regarding the frame of reference, where you say, “something that is beneficial to the species might be detrimental to the nation or to the planet.”
That frame includes time. I suspect that over time, anything “detrimental to the planet” cannot be beneficial to the species.
That said, we then must analyze what “detrimental to the planet” means.
In any event, you are correct that morality evolves, and over time, is determined by species survival.
Morality also relates to Potential. What could we be if only everyone’s potential was accommodated and nurtured? Anything that stands in the way of potential would, to me, be immoral. Anything encouraging our potential is moral, i.e., more for all.