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On Topical Themes in Veblen and Commons's Contributions

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Abstract

Veblen's and Commons's contributions are outlined and related to the approaches to economics and political actions over the years of the author. Commons's philosophy and pragmatic contribution to economic and political institutions in order to help create decent living conditions for wage-earners within capitalism are reflected in the author's rethink in the late 1970s of what was possible for a social democratic government in Australia to achieve. The implication of John Kenneth Galbraith's example and writings on the war in Vietnam are linked to the author's actions in Australia during Australia's involvement in the war. The relevance of Veblen's damning critique of J.B. Clark's views on capital theory for the arguments of the Cambridge - Cambridge controversies in capital theory of the 1950s-1970s, first noted by Joan Robinson, are set out. Veblen's biting analyses of the nature of capitalism in his major writings are argued to be even more relevant now for the modern world of haves, have nots and have lots.

Suggested Citation

  • G. Harcourt, 2011. "On Topical Themes in Veblen and Commons's Contributions," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(2), pages 261-268.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:45:y:2011:i:2:p:261-268
    DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624450202
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