A Humanist Way of Judging Our Economy
Panelists: Leon Lefson
and Prof. Marc Tool
Moderator: Ted Webb
This was a
really excellent and fascinating discussion. Ted Webb is a HAGSA member
and Minister Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento.
Dr. Marc Tool is Professor Emeritus of Economics at California State
University Sacramento, and Leon Lefson is a long-time progressive activist
and a retired welfare administrator. Both March and Leon are old friends
Leon started the
discussion with his Marxist critique of the capitalist system as it is
practiced in America. He looks on the system as exploitive of people and
resources and operating for the benefit of large multinational corporations.
He also looks on it as being supportive of war and preparations for war. He
says that 45% of federal expenditures are for current defense spending or
for the cost of past wars. He proposes that the welfare of all the people
should be the guiding factor for government policy.
supports a mixed economy. The nature of the mix is what is important to him.
He looks at commercial and government institutions and studies their
interactions. He says that the current administration is trying to destroy
the system that has existed since the New Deal, all for the benefit of the
wealthiest Americans. He favors democratic determination of public policy,
not only as being right, but also as being efficient. He generally disdains
“isms” although he does have an institutionalist background himself. A
primary value for him is the elimination of invidious distinctions among
After the two
had spoken, there was a lively discussion about democratic government and
the relationship between capitalism and democracy.
Report prepared by Wayne Luney, HAGSA Recorder
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