The Economic Role of the State
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By William Aylott Orton | Introduction by J. Daniel Hammond, Ph.D.
The Economic Role of the State explores and explicates the fundamental principles of a government in liberal society that are deeper than demand and supply or any other theories of economics. These principles are philosophical and anthropological in nature, concerning what humans are and what human lives are about, both individually and socially. As J. Daniel Hammond, Ph.D., succinctly states in his Introduction to this new edition: “What is needed today for all of us, economists, students of economics, and educated adults, is a return to a former understanding of man and the role of the state. It is this return that William Aylott Orton provides in The Economic Role of the State.”
William Aylott Orton (1899–1952) was a soldier, scholar of history and economics, and author of numerous books and essays. Orton spent the bulk of his teaching career at Smith College, and he held degrees from Christ’s College, Cambridge, University of London, Boston University, and Georgetown Univeresity. A convert to Roman Catholicism, Orton brought to his students and writings a richer account of economic theory and a deep appreciation for the purposive nature of human history.
J. Daniel Hammond is Hultquist Family Professor of Economics at Wake Forest University. With research in intellectual history, he has published in Modern Age and History of Political Economy. He is co-editor of Milton Friedman: Contributions to Economics and Public Policy (Oxford University Press, 2016). A former President of the History of Economics Society, Hammond is a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and is collaborating in the Intercollegiate Studies Institute program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.