David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Clarendon Press (1996)
This broad and lucid study of the merits of different economic systems combines economic criteria of success with a philosophically sophisticated analysis of ethical foundations and moral justification. Despite the fall of socialism, the deep feelings of discontent with capitalism that gave rise to socialism remain as strong as ever. This discontent stems from what are perceived to be serious, moral deficiencies inherent in current capitalism, such as vast inequalities in wealth and opportunities. Thus the search for an alternative system that avoids these inequalities continues. In this book, Professor Haslett investigates whether the deficiencies of capitalism can be overcome without abandoning capitalism or its traditional strengths. He begins by setting out and defending a moral perspective appropriate for evaluating economic systems, and goes on to examine and reject two alternative systems: libertarian capitalism and centrally planned socialism. He concludes that capitalism with morality is possible, and outlines and defends such an alternative system, which features elements of worker control, a strict inheritance quota, and a redistribution of income that does not compromise either freedom or productivity.
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