Social Economics: Premises, Findings and Policies

By Edward J.O'Boyle | Go to book overview

PART V

On the transition from command economies

Nitsch refers to the traditional position that the [Catholic] church has no models-that it does not favor a specific kind of economic system or economics, just philosophical principles. Apparently Nitsch accepts this, but I have a problem with it. The principles dictate a structure or preferred model, negatively if not positively. For example, market liberalism or laissez faire, which assumes automaticity, is excluded by the principles; so is centrally planned socialism-subsidiarity does not allow it. By the time logic expunges most economic systems, one is left with an economy of group decision making, a solidarist one.

(William R. Waters (1993) "A Comment on Social Economics and the New World Order: A Roman Catholic Perspective," Forum for Social Economics, Fall: 34)

How can the economy be reorganized to achieve a full measure of self governance, with a diminution of state intervention on the one hand, and without unfettered markets and market liberalism's impersonal forces of supply and demand on the other? By four organizational changes: (a) social instead of (typically American) hierarchical work place management; (b) social as well as and along with financial criteria for investment; (c) markets founded both on conflict resolution and cooperation, not on competition alone, that is, social governance of markets; and (d) competitive markets organized to promote public interest, not self-interest alone-that is, a social economy.

(William R. Waters (1994) "A Solidarist Social Economy: The Bruyn Perspective," Review of Social Economy, Spring: 112)

-167-

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