Moral norms as used here refer to the general statements or rules, such as always being truthful, while moral values are expressed as statements that describe features or objects as having worth (Velasquez, 2013). The focus of a moral economy, therefore, deals with achieving understanding of these practices and institutions, as well as on desirable and feasible possibilities for change.
Judgments concerning the justice in society have their basis on moral principles that come up with fair ways for the distribution of economic burdens and benefits among all members of a specific society (Velasquez, 2013). In the same society, judgments concerning the violations of rights of its members revolve around moral principles that identify the aspects on which the individuals’ wellbeing and rights to freedom and liberty are respected by the authorities. The moral, economic society should also be guided by the utilitarian morality standard, which is a moral principle contending that various acts are right only to the extent that they increase the economic benefits to society, while also decreasing the economic costs to society. In addition, this moral economy must also possess an ethic of virtue, which refers to the ethic that places emphasis of ensuring the concrete wellbeing of other individuals in society, rather than only oneself (Velasquez, 2013). To evaluate the moral character of individuals in this moral economy, the ethic of virtue is used.
Capitalist justice is based on the contribution of individuals in society and acts as a possible starting point for a moral economy. In this case, the benefits are distributed according to the individual’s contribution to society, raising the question about how distributive justice’s contributive principle can allow for the measurement of each individual’s contribution on the basis of work effort (Velasquez,