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Externalities, Freedoms and Consequences

Jon Clucas

Book Overview: 

Externalities, or effects of transactions on indirectly related parties, are not adequately included in monetary prices and tend to be obscured or completely hidden from consumers. This inadequacy of consumer capital markets is detrimental to democratic values and can be improved with information and communication technologies and legal reform. This book presents a brief overview of the history and status of externalities and freedoms in consumer capitalist markets and attempts to provide a starting point for reforms.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .We can provide equal access to education opportunities to all citizens, including merit-based admission to higher-learning institutions. We can provide healthcare in a more equitable manner than we do (with or without the Affordable Care Act /​ Obamacare). We can sever the ties between employment and moneymaking, so that an internship or volunteer post is valued above lucrative financial speculation.

From the Industrial Revolution to the dawn of the Internet, income has been an imperfect but relatively adequate approximation for the value of a person's work. Of course, this approximates volunteerism and unpaid internships as worthless, which is clearly (usually) an undervaluation. More or less, though, (with some powerful exceptions beyond the scope of this work) income has worked as a way to measure the relative value of a person's (or a company's) societal contributions. Changes unimaginable to early economists have taken place, however, w. . . Read More

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