Competing Perspectives on Economic Power and Accountability

  • Edythe S. Miller
Chapter

Abstract

The economic beliefs that have become increasingly dominant in economic policy formation for the past quarter century are derived primarily from neoclassical economic orthodoxy. This orthodox viewpoint has its basis in an economic ideology that encompasses a specific vision of human nature, a particular economic methodology, and an explicit outlook about the design and workings of the economy. Based upon these neoclassical presuppositions, this ideological perspective demands the application of specific policies. General acceptance of this set of ideas has tended to wax and wane to some extent over the years, but in recent years it has enjoyed widespread approval. Advocacy of this viewpoint has spread from economic scholars to opinion makers, to politicians and to the public at large. The policies required by this set of ideas have been applied in the United States, and worldwide, for the past generation. This chapter will examine the foundations of this pattern of thought and some of its applications. It will contrast with this viewpoint the philosophy, and related policies, of the institutionalist school, a major alternative to neoclassicism. It then will examine how the application of accepted neoclassical beliefs has contributed to the concentration and centralization of economic power in giant multinational corporations and the concomitant decline of democratic processes in the determination of economic policy.

Keywords

Depression Transportation Mold Income Posit 

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

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  • Edythe S. Miller

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