Friday, February 06, 2015

A footnote to the previous post

My old economics teacher at school, George Stanlake, used to tell us that economics was the science of how resources are allocated in a society. That's true. But what you will notice about that definition is that it is very political (I suspect that was George's point, though I never saw it at the time!).

Economics has never been a pure science. It has always been as much a political tool as it is a method for understanding resource allocation.

Is this the reason why Christians have always disagreed on how the economy works, since economics is a footnote to the political stance that shapes the way we each see the world?



Anonymous said...

Simon, I totally agree and remember discussing this at my economics degree interview some 33 years ago. I argued then and still do that what I understand about the nature of mankind from the bible makes any legislation to control the market almost doomed to failure. People immediately look for ways around the law, the law then has to be continually extended so limiting industrial activity. I'd certainly vote for socialism if it worked.

simon said...

You have to say that's a gloomy view, suggesting that no legislation of any kind can ever come close to achieving the purpose for which it's enacted. So doesn't this suggest that God was wrong to put human affairs in human hands when he appointed us as stewards of his creation? Or perhaps total depravity only applies to economic legislation for political reasons!