My new book is now typeset: The Covenantal Structure of Christian Economics. You can download it here:
This is the most divisive question in economic thought. Because it is divisive, economists ever since Adam Smith have preferred to begin their presentations with a less divisive issue: the division of labor. But the strategy does not work. The battlefield of economics — and modern politics — begins with this question: “Who owns this?”
This question cannot be answered in an ethically neutral fashion. But isn’t economic theory supposed to be neutral? Not if you are looking for an answer to this question: “Who owns this?” If this is your question, economic theory cannot possibly be neutral. Neither can anything else.
Economists always begin with an answer to this question in the back of their minds. They have an operating presupposition that they don’t tell the reader early — or maybe not at all. But the answer to this question shapes their view of economics from start to finish.
There are three basic answers to this question in modern economic thought: (1) the state, (2) the individual, and (3) a mixture. Think of these as socialism, anarcho-capitalism, and the mixed economy. Think of these as Lenin, Rothbard, and Keynes.
My approach is different. I begin with 20 economic laws in 60 words.
(To find out what these laws are, click the link.)