He began with this text, the opening paragraph of Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments
….
This is the fundamental perspective of economics that it seems that those who claim to be the followers of Smith, but are not, have forgotten. Economics should be about caring about the other person, because that really matters.

No, the idea is in the title of the book. This is about morals. It’s the other book that is about economics, Wealth of Nations.

Indeed, morals should inform our approaches to economics, just like they should inform our decisions on who we shag. You know, morals. But that doesn’t change what economics is about because it’s a positive, not normative, science. Fiddling with interest rates has the same effect whatever you think about starvling waifs. Cool, so you use economics to work out, well, if we do this then that over there will happen. Morals are about well, do we want that to happen? Therefore we’ll not do that other then, shall we?

Economics, that is, is amoral. Humans aren’t and shouldn’t be but economics is. Just like chemistry is amoral.

5 thoughts on “Snigger”

  1. So, if I’d been running the Afghan war, I’d have turned the place into a desert of radioactive glass. But TPTB didn’t do this because it was immoral.

    But the nuclear physics that would have let me carry out my strategy is amoral.

  2. Presumably under this a psychopath could never preside over any economic benefit, whereas a completely incompetent, ignorant but genuine empath would shower the economy with amazing economic policies.

    What about pretending to care about other people, where does that fit in with policy? How can we be sure the ruler DOES care, when all of their actions point to the opposite?

  3. Even “Moral Sentiments” isn’t about what should be; it’s about how we develop a sense of morality.

  4. When I further consider my argument, I’d have to say that TPTB dragging our soldiers, and indeed the rest of us, into a war where they’re not prepared to do what’s necessary to win, is also immoral.

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