Fragility and especially that of the productive

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fragility and especially that of the productive sector of the economy. Often the reader sees scientific chaos where there is only a defense of diverging interests with each of the parties introduced as “scientific”. The economist who on TV or in a paper interprets reality for us, is frequently using a lawyer’s tie, elegantly presenting not reality, but interests. And yet we do have economists who insist on explaining the interests and seek overall common good beyond the narrow interests. Narrow interests, it must be undertood, are always presented as the best interest of everyone, which adds to the confusion. Lawyers at least say “this is the best for my client”, while economists tend to say “this is the best for everybody”. An excellent view of this coming back of economics to a normative outlook centered on the construction of our objectives as humanity is the book by Herman Daly and John Cobb Jr., “For the Common Good: redirecting the economy towards community, the environment and a sustainable future . 14 According to these authors, we must acknowledge the boundaries of the inherited mechanisms: “The change will imply correction and expansion, a more empirical and historical attitude, less pretension to be a “science”, and the will to subordinate the market to purposes it is not equipped to set forth”. This change would result in a loss on the part of the market of its basic capacity to allocate scarce resources among alternative uses. “Economists identified three major categories of problems with the market: (1) a tendency of the competition to be self-eliminating; (2) the corrosive effect of self-interest, implicit in the market, on the moral context of the community and (3) the existence of public goods and of externalities”. 15 This outlook appears in recent recommendations of United Nations studies: we should concentrate “on explicit policies to avoid the negative effects of globalization on social development as well as new threats by reforms focused on markets. A deliberate action must be carried out to warrant that cultural, religious and ethnic identities and rights are explicitly protected in international agreements and national and local legislation. This protection must be defined in a code of conduct that can be implemented by national and 14 Herman E. Daly and John B. Cobb Jr., For the Common Good – Beacon Press, Boston 1994, p. 534. 15[ Daly & Cobb, op. cit., pp. 8 and 34 17
transnational corporations as well as private interests operating under national jurisdiction”. 16 When we speak of “explicit policies” and “deliberate action”, we already do not restrict ourselves to obeying “mechanisms”. In other words, it is not sufficient to create a favorable environment for the market, the economy must be steered towards what society expects of it. “The common good” seems to be a satisfactory definition of what we want, as we understand better every day that to steer the economy in function of the dominant minorities, generates problems for all of us. This idea, of rescuing economics as an

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