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  Is economics a SCIENCE       McCloskey critique       Ethics and economics         Effect on society               Criticisms of economic theory and practice


                    (3) Ethics and economics

The relationship between economics and ethics is complex. Many economists consider normative choices and value judgments, like what needs or wants, or what is good for society, to be political or personal questions outside the scope of economics. Once a person or government has established a set of goals, however, economics can provide insight as to how they might best be achieved.

Others see the influence of economic ideas, such as those underlying modern capitalism, to promote a certain system of values with which they may or may not agree. (See, for example, consumerism and Buy Nothing Day.) According to some thinkers such as John Syko, a theory of economics is also, or implies also, a theory of moral reasoning.[citation needed]

The premise of ethical consumerism is that one should take into account ethical and environmental concerns, in addition to financial and traditional economic considerations, when making buying decisions.