Vienna School of Economic

Common Weal vs. Common Goods Economy

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Adam Smith ( 1723-1790) was the first “Common Good” economist concerned about the quality of human livelihood in the community and about ideas (including basic income) contributing to this ethical and moral goal. For him, all individuals and groups must have equal access to basic conditions enabling them to realize, –  under their own  “free” responsibility – individual self-development and their own ends. The Vienna School of Economics (Carl Menger, Eugen Böhm Ritter von Bawerk, Ludwig von Mises) took over this basic idea in their economic thinking. Later it occurred to some degree (Ordoliberalism) in the Social Market Economy ( Alfred Mueller-Armand, Walter Euken, Wilhelm Röpke, Ludwig Erhard) in  West-Germany and Austria after the Second World War, – contrary to the Communists in East Germany and in other countries under Russian (Stalin) domination.  As an alternative to the Social Market Economy (based on Capitalism), Christian Felber developed the “Common Goods Economy.” Well-known economists criticize it as a politically motivated social movement. Now the important question arises which economic way of thinking, including the communist ones, are suitable to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals?  The author assumes that all ways of economic thinking shall contribute and not be excluded for ideological reasons.

Roland Leithenmayr, VfV