humanistic economics
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The Purpose of this Site

The purpose of this site is to provide an alternative for people who are disenchanted with the stale fare of economics dished up these days at our colleges and universities and generously offered to government policy makers. It is an alternative that centers on real human beings in a social setting. Although long in the shadow of both English classical economics and its neoclassical offspring--and also the critical alternative penned by Karl Marx and his followers--humanistic economics is a tradition that for two centuries has provided a counterpoint to orthodoxy. At the same time, it can look back some two hundred years with pride to its pioneering contributions in civilizing social reform.

This site is meant to address an academic audience as well as people with more general interests in an economic thinking that respects human dignity.

The Nature of Humanistic Economics

In short, it is a type of evolving economic thought that centers around the satisfaction of basic human needs of both present and future generations, while fully respecting human dignity. For an economic system it rejects both libertarian laissez-faire and collectivist central planning. Instead it promotes a “social market economy” under the direction of a democratic government aiming at full employment, minimal poverty and the building of community.

In many aspects it can also be understood as a pragmatic, non-theoretically abstract “institutional economics” that is free of postmodern relativism and materialist ideology.

The quartet of great humanistic economists pictured above are (from left to right): J.C.L. Simonde de Sismondi (1773-1842); John A. Hobson (1859-1940); Mohandes Gandhi (1869-1948); and E.F. Schumacher (1911-1977).

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