© 2017

Employers’ Economics versus Employees’ Economy

How Adam Smith’s Legacy Obscures Public Investment in the Private Sector


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. John F. M. McDermott
    Pages 1-27
  3. John F. M. McDermott
    Pages 29-55
  4. John F. M. McDermott
    Pages 57-88
  5. John F. M. McDermott
    Pages 89-113
  6. John F. M. McDermott
    Pages 115-143
  7. John F. M. McDermott
    Pages 145-171
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 173-191

About this book


This book argues that economic activity in the public sphere now underwrites private corporations, and rejects rigid adherence to traditional economic theories that no longer apply. Adam Smith's widely used "merchant's model" assumes that most investment is private, when in fact research demonstrates that public investment in the workforce through education and training far outweighs the private sector, and does not account for the growing presence of consensual pricing, the diversification of modern businesses, or the increasing internal authoritarianism of globalizing companies. With de facto public support for these adaptations undermining the universally presumed economic model, private corporations are able to increase their profits while misrepresenting the investment of their own global labor forces. This book suggests an "economy of laws" solution that balances the needed degree of central investment planning with the continuation of our pluralist economy of largely autonomous firms, principally by extending the full rights of citizens into the workplace itself.


industrial revolution economic development Fundamental Welfare Theorem Pareto efficiency Pareto optimality methodological individualism public investment private investment social infrastructure monopolistic competition social division of labor technical division of labor bondaged labor

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.State University of New YorkOld WestburyUSA

About the authors

John F. M. McDermott is Professor Emeritus of the State University of New York. He is the author of four previous books, two of them on economics: Corporate Society (1991) and Economics in Real Time (2004).

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Employers’ Economics versus Employees’ Economy
  • Book Subtitle How Adam Smith’s Legacy Obscures Public Investment in the Private Sector
  • Authors John F. M. McDermott
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Economics and Finance Economics and Finance (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-50148-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-84328-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-50149-9
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XI, 191
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Public Economics
    Labor Economics
    Economic History
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking