Political Economy

A Future of Capitalism: The Economic Vision of Robert by Michael C. Carroll (auth.) PDF

By Michael C. Carroll (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230372511

ISBN-13: 9780230372511

ISBN-10: 0312177542

ISBN-13: 9780312177546

ISBN-10: 1349399108

ISBN-13: 9781349399109

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Extra resources for A Future of Capitalism: The Economic Vision of Robert Heilbroner

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The second distinguishing characteristic of the worldly philosophy group is their desire to use their work to affect social change. No 42 A Future of Capitalism member of the group was willing to simply espouse his ideas. Each wanted to see their work in action. Heilbroner writes: It is not one of their flaws, but one of their claims to greatness as economists that Smith, Ricardo, Mill, Marx, Marshall, and Keynes were explicit in their use of facts and theories as instruments of advocacy. Smith's great model of the economic system was written not merely to 'analyze the late eighteenth-century England, but to plead for a policy of 'perfect liberty' and to assail the policies of mercantilism.

In fact, it is only other economists who have the sufficient training to understand the majority of the arguments. Gone are the days when laymen could extract useful guidance from the profession's top journals. Today economics is written in very precise code. Articles are focused on very minute problems or provide extensions to previous models. The journals are nothing more than very exclusive clubs. Admission is limited to those who possess the required expertise and have invested the necessary time in the history of the particular journal.

Much of this influence is transmitted through what E. D. Hirsch calls 'cultural literacy' (Hirsch 1988). Certain terms conjure up visions in the reader's mind and the truth or falseness of the argument is based on these visions. While physical scientists are not completely exempt from the problems of 'vision' and 'ideology', they are somewhat shielded by the distance they are afforded from their work. Not being a member of the system under investigation gives them a distinct advantage over economists.

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A Future of Capitalism: The Economic Vision of Robert Heilbroner by Michael C. Carroll (auth.)


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