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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
“American capitalism. We are all part of it; we all know there has to be a better way. Knowlton and Hedges reject complacency by confronting the problems with insight. They propose better ways (‘Partnership Economics’) with data, experience, and moral conviction; and they invite readers to tap the resources of imagination, dialogue, and courage. You may not agree with all their solutions, but this book will change how you think about your commitments and financial decisions—corporate, professional, and personal.”
—R. Alan Culpepper, Dean and Professor Emeritus, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University
"Better Capitalism is an eloquent and articulate reminder of the importance of understanding economics in the context of our communities, country, and roles as business leaders. In explaining the profound connection between economics and theology, the authors have provided a strong case for the critical need for partnership between business leaders and communities to create a stronger and more robust economy that provides benefit to all.”—Tony Reid, Senior Vice President (retired), Marriott International
“This book plunges the reader right into the interface of theology (faith) and economics, exactly where thoughtful, responsible adults need to be situated in our crisis-marked world. Knowlton and Hedges pursue a simple paradigm of ‘plantation vs. partnership.’ ‘Plantation’ in their usage refers to a winner-take-all economics that exploits others for self-advantage. ‘Partnership’ concerns an economic practice of mutuality that contributes to the common good while attending to one’s own interest. This simple either/or is explored in rich directions including finance, corporations, government, and culture. Along the way we get a healthy rereading of Adam Smith and Ayn Rand, away from a privatistic distortion. This book merits close, sustained attention as a compelling move beyond both careless thinking and easy ideology.”—Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
“American capitalism. We are all part of it; we all know there has to be a better way. Knowlton and Hedges reject complacency by confronting the problems with insight. They propose better ways (‘Partnership Economics’) with data, experience, and moral conviction; and they invite readers to tap the resources of imagination, dialogue, and courage. You may not agree with all their solutions, but this book will change how you think about your commitments and financial decisions—corporate, professional, and personal.”—R. Alan Culpepper, Dean and Professor Emeritus, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University
“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
“I applaud the authors’ diligence and I look forward to seeing the influence on our culture that this excellent book produces. I find the work to be original and thought-provoking.”—Deric Milligan, Cofounder and CEO, Inheritance of Hope
“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
“This is a great work, very timely and needed. The authors are to be commended for their efforts, ideas, and work.”—Gary Skeen, President Emeritus, CBF Church Benefits Board
“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
“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.”—James “Dock” Hollingsworth, Senior Pastor