Is there an appropriate response in economic terms to the perceived human condition?
First let us define our terms.
Economics: the exchange of goods or services for other goods and services usually with a mediator such as I.O.U., coins, cash or vouchers of some flavor.
The Human Condition: On the definition of this term the whole question turns.
1. Humans are inherently bad or evil.
2. Humans have a predisposition to learning to be evil and to do bad.
3. Humans are inherently good and are forced into situations that create within them the capacity to do evil.
Putting the pieces together would pose questions such as: Can an evil humanity create a just economic society? Why do some people prosper while others who work just as hard fail? How do the few hold economic sway over the many? The questions could be nearly endless depending upon the shading one would wish to take with the above definitions.
But is there one system of economics that can cover the full spectrum of meaning, or does it always break down at some point?
Free market leaves itself open to corruption and greed.
Regulated markets can fall into the hands of the "haves" who can control who the regulators are and how they choose to regulate.
Socialism and Communism as economic systems can fall prey to the "haves" or the party elite creating their niche markets and safety zones.
At first glimpse it appears that there may be no justified economic system. There will always be those in power, in control and in the money who can dictate to the rest how things will be. Even if we were to find highly enlightened individuals to make up that cast of "those in power," those who are not in power would become jealous or angry about the power situation and make moves to amend it. It is an eternal struggle of the classes. But certainly we must just not wander aimlessly from one theory to the next. Certainly there must be one that stand above the rest to assure fairness of trade, equality of living standards, checks and balances on business and lending institutions. An informed and educated citizenry will go a long way in making some of those balances, but it may also breed new villains.
Is economic justice and equality a real and meaningful thing or is it a pie in the sky dream?