Labor theory of property and Marginal productivity theory

This is a reprint from the journal Economic Thought of a paper on the labor theory of property and the neoclassial theory of marginal productivity.

Does Classical Liberalism Imply Democracy?

This paper, written for a classical liberal audience, goes into the fault line running down the middle of the doctrine: does classical liberalism imply democracy? The libertarian wing, represented concretely today in the startup or charter cities initiatives, only requires consent (and exit) so the consent could be to a non-democratic pact of subjection. The democratic form of classical liberalism is represented by the mature James M. Buchanan who held that a liberal social order required people to be principals in their organizations who could only delegate but not alienate their rights of self-governance. That distinction is traced back to the Reformation inalienability of conscience that descends through the Enlightenment to modern times in the abolitionist and democratic movements.

PBS Making Sen$e blog: The case for employee-owned companies

This is the “justice in production” argument in a nutshell posted on the PBS Making Sen$e website.

1991 clippings on work in Slovenia

Here are a few newspaper and magazine clippings from my efforts in Slovenia in 1990-91 to get a worker-ownership privatization law drafted and passed.

Classical Liberalism and the Firm

This is a scan of my chapter in the new book: Commerce and Community: Ecologies of Social Cooperation, edited by Robert F. Garnett, Paul Lewis, and Lenore T. Ealy. London: Routledge, 2015.

On the Renting of Persons: The Neo-Abolitionist Case Against Today’s Peculiar Institution

To answer the “best case” voluntary-contractarian arguments for slavery and autocracy, the democratic and antislavery movements forged arguments not simply in favor of consent but arguments that voluntary contracts to legally alienate aspects of personhood were invalid “even with consent”—which made the underlying rights inherently inalienable. Once understood, those arguments have the perhaps “unintended consequence” of ruling out today’s self-rental contract, the employer-employee contract.

The Neo-Abolitionist Case Against Renting People

The talk presents the arguments from inalienable rights theory in a neo-abolitionist framework as making the case against the renting of people, i.e., against the employment relation–echoing the abolitionist case against the owning of people.

American Revolution Applied to Corporations

The basic idea of the talk was to take the fundamental principles of the American Revolution and apply them to the economic sphere.

Talk on Alienation versus Delegation at Troy University

These are the slides for a talk on Alienation versus Delegation at a conference on Philanthropy and the Economic Way of Thinking at Troy University, Troy, Alabama November 7, 2014.

Talk on property theory at UMKC, Nov. 2014

These are the slides, with some minor additions and editing, for a talk On Property Theory given at the University of Missouri at Kansas City Economic Department November 17, 2014.