Must-Read: Matthew Yglesias puts his finger on a strong antinomy between right-wing economics and right-wing sociology. Right-wing (and some other) sociology puts a great deal of blame on the breakdown of social connections that lead people to act benevolently toward others who are not kin--for example, Banfield's blaming of southern Italian poverty on "immoral familism": "a dynamic of low trust, excessive localism, and extreme reliance on family networks". Right-wing economics requires that in making their economic decisions people and businesses focus only on how they themselves profit. But, as Matt points out, the corporation that is acting immorally if it maximizes anything other than its stock price bears more than a passing similarity to the bureaucrat who regards himself as acting immorally if he does not embezzle and transfer funds to his family.
A market economy is based on human gift-exchange psychology. And is remains, in large part, based on value-for-value gift-exchange rather than on the mutual pursuit of advantage in a network of con games. And wherever it does turn into a con game, it tends to break down:
Sounds like a lot of money: "Robert 'Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy' Putnam...: