Self-interest, economic efficiency and private property rights are among the most basic assumptions of market economics. But can an economic theory built on these assumptions alone provide adequate insight into human nature, motivation and ultimate goals to guide our economic life?
John Stapleford says no along with those economists who recognize the limits of their discipline. He insightfully shows us in detail how ethics are inextricably intertwined with economic life and analysis. Writing from a Christian ethical perspective, he interacts with seven standard introductory economics texts, exploring the moral challenges imbedded in various macro-, micro- and international economic theories and outlining a faithful response to them. Among the important ethical issues addressed are
Keyed to seven of the most widely used introductory economics texts--Gwartney, Stroup Sobel; Mankiw; Mansfield Behravesh; McConnell Brue; Miller; Samuelson Nordhaus; and Stiglitz--this book will be especially useful for introductory courses in economics.
"Bulls, Bears Golden Calves opens the door for beginning students of economics to the realm of applied Christian thought on the modern economy. John Stapleford's work invites both new students and experienced economists alike to pursue this passageway. Designed to be used as a supplementary text in the teaching of economic principles, its format and content are very helpful for Christian economists looking to introduce students to a biblical perspective on a wide range of modern economic issues. Across a spectrum extending from the lending of money at interest to the thorny problem of immigration, Stapleford provides salutary, compelling examples. His discussion applies careful economic reasoning combined with ethical direction aptly derived from the Scriptures. The book takes seriously the authority of Scripture in critically reflecting on the core assumptions of economics while guiding readers in an irenic yet challenging manner. I strongly recommend Bulls, Bears Golden Calves as an introductory guide to applying Christian ethics to the world of economics."
"This is a wonderful book! It highlights significant economic issues being faced in America today. It fairly presents the competing worldviews regarding these problems. And it brings Scripture to bear on each area of contention in a way that challenges the reader to think Christianly."
"How does one integrate their faith with the work of selling goods and services and making money? John Stapleford provides a careful and thoughtful Christian worldview of the marketplace. It is a must-read for the serious Christian who has a commitment not only to share their faith but also to live their faith."
"A well-written, much-needed supplement to introductory economics texts."
"The study of economics should not be disconnected from ethical concerns. Bulls, Bears and Golden Calves provides clear guidance for identifying and discussing, within a Christian framework, important ethical issues connected to an economy's organization. Keying the book to the leading textbooks, John Stapleford provides an indispensable resource for students and teachers of introductory economics courses—though the book merits study outside the classroom as well. I particularly appreciated the faithful reliance on Scripture as the ethical benchmark applied throughout the book."
"Bulls, Bears, and Golden Calves is a simply phenomenal read that will challenge all readers to live out a Christian life in the realm of economics."
Section I: Laying the Foundation
1. Grid Work: A Theological Ethical Framework
Section II: Reflections on the Basic Assumptions of Economics
2. Me, Myself Why?: Pursuit of Self-Interest Promotes What Exactly?
3. Waste Not?: Reappraising the Goal of Economic Efficiency
4. It?s Mine!: Private Property Rights
Section III: Macroeconomic Issues
5. How Does Your Garden Grow?: The Possibilities Perils and Economic Growth
6. Render unto Caesar: The Role of Government in the Economy
7. Overemployment: The Growth of Work the Loss of Leisure
8. Catching Your Interest: Lending Borrowing in Scripture History
Section IV: Microeconomic Issues
9. A Clarion Call: Poverty Distributive Justice
10. Tending the Garden: Environment Stweardship
11. Who?s Responsible?: Business Social Responsibility
12. False Hope: The Boom in Legalized Gambling
13. The Naked Gorilla: The Ethical Economic Challenge of the Pornography Industry
Section V: International Issues
14. A Matter of Life Debt: Debt Relief for Less-Developed Countries
15. Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor ...:The Economics of Immigration
16. The Malthusian Blues: The Ethics Economics of Population Control
Appendix: Interactions Between This Book Standard Economics Texts