Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision


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Payment Methods accepted by seller. AbeBooks Bookseller Since: May 23, Home Brown, Marvin T. Stock Image. Used Soft cover. Save for Later. About this Item First paperback edition, first printing. Examples would be land, real estate, stocks and bonds, and patents. His prediction for the future was that an increasing amount of income would flow to capital and less to labor, which would mean an increasing inequality.

His solution to this problem is a tax on capital. Well, what can we learn from him about the flow of money in the economic system of providing food? First of all, we can recognize the capital goods that exist in the food system, such as farmland, corporate farms, processing plants, wholesale and retail businesses, and restaurant chains. Owners and investors in these capital assets expect a return on their investment. Piketty says they expect between a 4 and 5 percent return.

The fact is that if we keep the money in the food system, and not allow speculators create bubbles on Wall Street, the only way it can be such a high return is through lower wages, higher prices, and more expensive loans. And what will prevent this from happening? The only answer I know is that we, as citizens, must design a food system that works for all instead of for capitalists. And this means we need to rethink the role of money in our economy. We start by connecting money with provisions.

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In our modern economy, the only way most of us can get food is to buy it. You need money, in other words, to eat.

International Monetary System - New Economic Slavery

Since people have a basic right to food, there should never be a shortage of money for buying food. Food is a necessary provision and all humans have a right to adequate nutrition for living a good life. One could counter the idea of making sure that everyone has money for food by saying that people can borrow money from a bank, but they would then be obligated not only to return the money, but also the interest. This would be like charging interest for food stamps.


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No, the government should simply print the money and give it to those who do not have enough to eat. A second function of money is its traditional function as a means of exchange. We do need to remember, however, that money is not what is exchanged, but rather the means of exchange. It is a mistake to think that we work for money. Like workers, consumers of food also use money to make exchanges.

Michel Bauwens : The key topic of your book, as I see it, is the difference between a property approach to economics and a civic approach to economics, based on the provisioning of needs. Can you explain the basic difference? Marvin Brown: There are two basic differences here. One is about relationships.

Civilizing the Economy - Wikipedia

In an economics of property, the foundation for relationships of exchange is ownership. This means that whatever cannot be owned does not count.

It also means that those who do not own things must allow someone else to own them in exchange for things they need to survive. In a civic economy, on the other hand, the exchanges are based on civic norms, such as moral equality and reciprocity.

The Role of Money in a Civic Provisioning Economy

A civic economics of provision, on the other hand, takes responsibility for the management of different systems of provision, such as the food or the housing system, and ensures that they provide for all citizens. Bauwens : In your book's first chapter, you are rereading Adam Smith and uncovering his silence on slavery, showing he considered slaves unproblematically as commodities to be traded, and also his deep involvement in the milieu of Scottish tobacco and slave traders.

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Is this a new insight, and why is it important? The relationship between slavery and capitalism has been well documented, but ignored by most Anglo-American economists. And that is the point. This ideology remains with us today, and is a major impediment to moving toward a sustainable and just economy. Neal Gorenflo : You believe that the way Adam Smith obscured the role of slavery in the 18th century economy influenced how we think about property today. How do you think slavery influenced how we think about labor today?

Brown : Slavery continues to influence our thinking about labor today in several ways.

Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision

Just as the work of African slaves has been, for the most part, excluded from modern economic history, mainstream economics has also excluded the history of the struggle of workers to gain recognition as persons with human dignity and civic rights. Furthermore, the slave-master and the employer-employee relationship are both based on property relations. In neither case are workers treated as members of work-communities that have the rights of representation and reciprocity.

Finally, if you ask what masters and slaves had in common, the answer is probably one word: fear. And what do we have in common today? As long as our relationships are based on what we own or do not own, it will probably be fear.

Or, we could move to a new commons based on membership in a global civil society.

Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision
Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision
Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision
Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision
Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision
Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision
Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision Civilizing the economy : a new economics of provision

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