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Economic Paradigms - Descriptive vs. Normative Economics (Patrick Misson)

Economic Paradigms - Descriptive vs. Normative Economics (Patrick Misson)

Rolesia deals with "descriptive economics" - economics as it actually is. There is also a "normative economics" which asks what economics should be. The word "economics" comes from the greek words "oikos", "a household", and "nomos", "management".

Whose household? Is it sensible that we talk in terms of the prosperity of individual nation states rather than of the entire human family? This is absurd in a globalised world where multinational companies ignore borders to avoid their responsibilities to the tax man, to the environment and to the welfare of their employees.

Is it right to spend billions of dollars on sending a spacecraft to Mars when billions of our fellow human beings go hungry, have no clean water, no health care and no education for their children?

Is it intelligent to judge the wealth of nations in terms of unending growth while taking no account of the collapse of the exploited environment?

Should we not rather judge economic prosperity in terms of less sordid values?

Surely the real human value in judging economic success should not be how much we own or consume, but rather in terms of how many children grow up happy, healthy and educated?

It is not growth or consuming more superfluous things less important than our dignity as members of the human family? Our dignity and the nobility of our purpose in life is what will matter to us when we face our unavoidable death. Our happiness cannot be separated from that of the human race as a whole.

Upon this foundation we can build a proper economics and upon no other. For further discussion along these lines, go to Nataraja Guru - Indian Philosophy

After reading the section on Economics, the other subjects on this page may be interesting, as it is impossible to separate Economics from Government, Education, Ethics etc.

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