Should economics be moral? Why?

 Poca from Little town


Poca, you have taken me to a thoughtful yet arguable place, but since you asked, I will answer.

Economics is the branch of social science that deals with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services in a society. Underlying the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services is money Given this, yes, economics, and the money that surrounds it is a moral issue. Our global collective problem is that many of us do not see it this way. If we did, greed would not play such a devastating role in the business of money.

Why is this important? Simply, money determines the quality of life for everyone. Everyone needs money to subsist even on the most basic level, and it is shameful that some have so much and many have so little. On a more personal level, “money makes you do things you don’t want to do” as stated so succinctly in the movie Wall Street.

If those with most of the money in the world, those that can move stock markets with a single buy or sell, those that can move governments toward their perspective, those that have power over others, viewed the business of money as a moral issue, the world would be a better place. We would not have seen the financial collapse that occurred last year and the statistic below would not exist.

“Poverty in the United States is cyclical in nature with roughly 13 to 17% living below the federal poverty line at any given point in time, and roughly 40% falling below the poverty line at some point within a 10 year time span. Most Americans (58.5%) will spend at least one year below the poverty line at some point between ages 25 and 75.”

The fundamental idea of the movie Wall Street is that “greed is good.” I disagree. Greed is the reason for the above mentioned calamities. It is the reason people do things they know are wrong. It is the reason many traders end up losing when they should have won. Greed drives economic bubbles that burst, and greed motivates bad economic decisions that negatively affect people’s everyday living. Yes, the business of money is a moral issue, and economic teachers should include this as part of the study.

Trade in the day; invest in your life …

Trader Ed