Capitalism, Morality & Markets

By Brian Griffiths, Robert A. Sirico, Norman Barry & Frank Field
December 2001
Institute of Economic Affairs
ISBN: 0-255-36496-2
88 pages
$19.50 paper original

In 2000 the Institute began a series of lecture, endowed by Michael Novak and the John Templeton Foundation, entitled the Templeton Forum on Markets and Morality. The four papers given in the first series, and revised by the authors, are included in this volume.

Brian Griffiths considers the business corporation as a moral community, concluding that 'an independent moral standard is not only something which is good in itself but is also in the interests of shareholders and employees'. Robert A. Sirico argues that the accomplishments of business directly help to advance social prosperity, health and human welfare. The market is a necessary ally for a 'social order which respects human dignity'.

Norman Barry contends that the market system is 'morally self-sufficient...and develops its own codes of conduct'. Ethical conduct requires companies simply to follow rules and conventions which make for long-run success. Frank Field discusses the provision of a minimum income in retirement which, in his view, cannot be achieved by markets alone. Some compulsion is required, as in his 'Universal Protected Pension', which is the 'only workable scheme to break the link between retirement and poverty'.

Readings No. 54

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