Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
We have available the rather readable, observationally-oriented economics of John Kenneth Galbraith-- the faith-based dogmas of the Chicago School etc ( producing the sort of conclusions that led one economic blogger to describe academic economics as "astrology's ugly sister") -- a wide variety of Post-Keynesians etc...
And most of all, there are matters of economic ethics!
It seems clear that personal enrichment is not a goal consistent with Friends' Testimonies. How does it work as a subgoal, as a means towards more universal ends? What about maintaining a personal standard of living that one (and one's family!) would like to remain accustomed to? Should we all be running off to form communes instead?
Is 'profit' a worthy objective?-- at least a measure of 'success'?-- a sign of good 'Stewardship' or of taking more than we strictly ought?
What about Biblical economic principles-- that the land belongs to God, is loaned out to human tenants for the care and nourishment of all God's people (which must necessarily, for us, mean all people!)
Are contemporary financial and real estate markets compatible with Right Livelihood, with our testimony against gambling-- and the ethical demand that profit should be based on the recipient's assumption of risks and promotion of the public good?
Is any strictly economic project sustainable in the face of our ongoing destruction of the planet? Or do we need to be concentrating on mitigation & relief operations?
Do we share sufficient faith to enable us to put spiritual considerations above our attachment to economic values and "realities"?