Economy

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(Gr. oikonomia, management of a household). System of relations of production, distribution and services, and of the related enterprises ranging from family businesses to multi-national corporations. The corresponding branch of science that studies these relationships and the economic system in general is termed economics. It is customary to speak of both private or domestic e. and public e. to highlight the extent of economic activity; of rural or urban e. to indicate the surroundings in which the productive operations are carried out; of mixed e. to refer to an intermediate economic system between a liberal e. (which implies the absence of State intervention) and a planned e. (with maximum State intervention). We also speak of economies of scale in which the earnings of a company are increased through a reduction in the unit cost of production achieved through increasing size; of external e. which is income not realized through a company’s own efforts but as the result of a favorable economic environment or events. We also speak of rudimentary, underground, and prosperous e., according to the interpretative framework used to measure productivity. N.H. proposes an economic model in which in every concrete set of circumstances the relations of production, exchange and consumption are regulated by worker ownershipand by the interests of the majority of the population. This proposal encourages the humanization of the e., starting from the instrumental conception of economic factors at the service of the human being. The humanization of the e. advocated by N.H. diverges radically from all economist models that rest on interpretative reductions that portray the individual, society and political reality as mere epiphenomena or as simple reflections of prevailing economic or macroeconomic conditions. The central ideas of the project of humanizing the e. are outlined in the “Statement of New Humanism” (Humanist Statement).