Philosophy In Practice

Economics + Justice Course


A Ten week Foundation Course in Economics with Justice.

Can viewing economics as a human study – through the prism of justice, fairness and natural law – help us better understand our world? Economics with Justice seeks to show that freedom and prosperity are possible for people everywhere, providing we follow economic laws and aim for a fair outcome from economic arrangements.

This non-specialist course is aimed at the interested citizen. It helps make sense of what is happening in the world, and explains how economics could facilitate universal prosperity without exploitation of people or the planet. It considers the fundamentals of production and distribution of wealth, boom and bust, money and credit, markets and trade, land use and ownership, the structure of society, and the effects of taxation.

10 week course outline

Capital, Capitalism and Markets
The Production and Division of Wealth
The Magic of Money
Credit and Banking
Unearned Income
International Trade
Can tax be fair?
Justice and Taxation

Economics with Justice Term One: Foundation Course Outline/

Session 1 – Humanity meets the Universe – The course begins by reviewing our current situation and the importance of the need to establish justice in the field of economics. It then goes on to show how economics begins with the interaction of humans with nature.

Session 2 – Capital and the Production of Wealth – The production of wealth is presented as a cycle of transformation of naturally occurring material and importance of the use of capital is emphasized. Exchange and the way it works through the market is then explored.

Session 3 – The Importance of Location – Location has a huge impact on economic productivity and this has significance for the way economies develop

Session 4 – Credit and Banking – Without credit economic activity would be held at the most rudimentary level. This session shows how genuine credit works using micro-credit in Bangladesh as an illustration. It then considers the importance of civil society as the context in which economic activity takes place.

Session 5 – The Magic of Money -This session explores money, what it is, how it is created and how it works in a modern economy.

Session 6 – Distribution of wealth – This session explores the distribution of wealth by considering both the natural laws and the effect of man-made conventions

Session 7 – Taxation – National governments need revenues to be able to govern but the means by which revenues are raised can have significant economic effects. This session explores the effects of the present tax system on the health of the economy.

Session 8 – Justice and Public Revenue – The possibility of collecting public revenue in accord with natural law and justice is examined using Hong Kong as a case study.

Session 9 – International Trade – This session firstly addresses the arguments for and against free trade and then moves on to show how cycles of boom and bust are the inevitable outcome of today’s economic arrangements.

Session 10 – Economics with Justice – This final session looks at the possibilities that the application of just economic principles offers for the future of humanity.

Recommended Reading – related to the 10 week course:/

*indicates that some Recommended books can be purchased from the School’s own online bookshop at Others from on-line retailers or High Street Bookstores.
The Books of particular interest as well as being a good read, and directly relevant to the 10 week course, are underlined.

*THE SCIENCE OF ECONOMICS – The Economic Teaching of Leon MacLaren by Raymond Makewell
This book is based on the three-year course in economics developed in the School of Economic Science in the late 1960’s. It begins with the simple observation that all material wealth is ultimately derived from land. It then considers the importance of location rather than focussing on supply and demand. It contains a full development of the ideas presented in the Economics with Justice course.

The author was the founder of the School of Economic Science. This book was written to explain the principles of economics upon which the teaching in the school is based. Guided by a sense of truth and justice, it leads the reader to the simplicity of the laws governing the relations between men in society and to a vision of a world in which understanding of natural laws can lead to peace, prosperity and freedom for all.

The author is currently the Principal of the School of Economic Science. This book is about economics viewed from an ethical perspective. The purpose of economics is seen as being the establishment and maintenance of mutually enhancing relations between the natural world and its human component.

*NO DEBT HIGH GROWTH LOW TAX: Hong Kong’s Economic Miracle Explained, Andrew Purves
The author currently tutors Economics with Justice in the School. The book reveals how a small, densely populated, trading community with virtually no natural resources is able to sustain a healthy growing economy with strong investment, whilst having very low levels of personal tax and still managing to run a government surplus.

BANKER TO THE POOR, Muhammad Yunus.
A lively and entertaining account of the events which lead to the invention of micro-credit and to the foundation of the world’s first bank for seriously poor people. The book demonstrates the practical application of the principles of credit; it exposes the shortcomings of modern banking systems and of international attempts to bring effective aid to poverty stricken regions and countries.

The 19th Century American Henry George explores the man-made cause of poverty and how a simple tax could deal with this. Progress and Poverty became a world-wide bestseller and is now available in a new abridged edition, edited for the modern reader

This is a radical challenge to the 20th century’s intoxication with what Schumacher described as “gigantism”. One of the recurrent themes through the book is how modern organisations stripped the satisfaction out of work. What Schumacher wanted was people centred economics with a view to environmental and human sustainability.

Why does capitalism triumph in the West but fail almost everywhere else? Elegantly, and with rare clarity, the author revolutionises our understanding of what capital is and why it has failed to benefit four-fifths of mankind — and explains the solution. In his vision, the poor are not the problem. They are the solution.
The book offers a radical revision of modern economic theory. Its starting point is the existing body of both micro and macro-economics, as developed in standard textbooks such as “Economics” by Begg, Fischer and Dombusch and “Positive Economics” by Lipsey and Chrystal. Following a similar framework as these books, it adjusts the whole range of theory by incorporating some new concepts and other neglected ones, relating especially to the fundamental part played by land.
A property developer exposes the realities of public funding of infrastructure projects. This book shows how a public investment of £ 3.5 billion in London’s Jubilee Line underground extension created a £ 12.5 billion property bonanza for conveniently situated landowners. It also explores the issue of collecting the benefit of such projects so that they can pay for themselves.

* 3 lectures given by Leon MacLaren, founder of the School of Economic Science
*JUSTICE, Leon MacLaren

Eight hundred years of mismanagement of laws governing the possession and ownership of land have deprived people of their primary natural right; the equal right of access to the benefits of nature’s resources. The author explains why people suffer from poverty and job insecurity as a result.

OUR LAND OUR RENT OUR JOBS, Stephen Meintjes and Michael Jacques
This book is based on a very simple proposal: replace most taxation with collection of land and other natural resource rentals as the way to the broad uplands of prosperity for all.

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