Jesus, Adam Smith, Ayn Rand, & MLK Jr. on Moving from Plantation to Partnership Economics
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available May 2021
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From the foreword by Rev. Dr. David Gushee, Past President of American Academy of Religion, Past President of Society of Christian Ethics:
Better Capitalism is an extraordinary creative achievement, without parallel in the literature of economic and business ethics, Christian or otherwise. Paul Knowlton, JD, MDiv, and Aaron Hedges, MBA, MDiv, here engage pretty much the entire landscape of modern economic life with a realistic but values-rich challenge to move beyond what they call plantation economics and instead move to what they call partnership economics.
In three sections, Paul and Aaron review the state of our economic life, rethink its values and practices, and then propose practical initiatives to “relive” pretty much every substantial sector of personal, corporate, and governmental economic affairs.
One of the things I like most about Better Capitalism is the way it shoots the gap between our current cultural extremes: it is by no means a defense of laissez-faire capitalism but neither is it a socialist manifesto. It applies biblical values to economic life but not in any kind of pie-in-the-sky way. The book is chock full of fresh and deep research, and this data then informs the book’s realistic, concrete reform proposals that corporate executives, government officials, and everyday people can implement.
I commend this work to you as a breakthrough contribution by important new voices in the field of economic ethics.
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NAME / JOB / TITLE
What an impressive, ambitious effort to tackle such weighty topics and identify and investigate a series of connective tissue between them all.
Stan Seymour, Attorney and Associate Pastor
I believe our country and world would be a better place if the principles of partnership economics were widely adopted. I will use this book in my personal life as I make choices about which companies I wish to support with my purchases and recommendations to family and friends.
Julie Nybakken, Mathematics Educator
This is a great work, very timely and needed, you are to be commended for your efforts, ideas, and work.
Gary Skeen, CPA, RFA, President Emeritus of CBF Church Benefits Board
I applaud your diligence and I look forward to seeing the influence on our culture that your excellent book produces. I find the work to be original and thought-provoking.
Deric Milligan, Co-Founder & CEO, Inheritance of Hope
I was fascinated by this book and grateful that I read it. As a local church pastor, I found the topic and scope to be beyond my usual areas of interest and I might not have bought this book to add to my library. I would have missed out! The book is clearly written and accessible to those of us who do not regularly follow economics. Reading this compelling book was a good gift to my ministry.
Rev. Dr. James “Dock” Hollingsworth, Senior Pastor
This is an original work that congeals important ideas with the high potential to have a positive impact on our culture. Your synthesis of scripture, philosophy, science, art, fiction, and contemporary theologians and ethicists has resulted in a book that will benefit anyone who takes the time to invest in its pages. This book feels conversational, urgent, hopeful, and challenging.
As a mid-level employee of a Fortune 500 company and a former seminarian, this was certainly relevant reading. Where a partnership approach is displayed, all kinds of growth follows!
Aaron Jarvinen, Supply Chain Professional