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The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers

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A principle which his contemporary capitalists chose to ignore was Smith's concept of labor value. His observation that labor is the only real standard of value has been contradicted by most economists, but widely adopted by socialist writers. Some ninety years later, Karl Marx seized and expanded upon this idea, building it into his exaggerated theory of "surplus value." Perhaps, we won’t end up with a Butterfly or a Moth, but some hybrid that we haven’t conceived of and won’t be able to define until it is upon us.

But how can the individual's selfish desires benefit society? What stops greed from overwhelming the public, resulting in ruthless exploitation by profiteers? Smith answers that the individual, in the process of providing for personal interests, unintentionally contributes to the economic wellbeing of society. Therefore, the second law of the market is competition. The individual who overcharges for products soon learns that competitors will take away business by offering more reasonable prices. If wages are too small, workers will hire out to another employer who will pay more for their services. Thus, selfish motives are tempered by interaction, resulting in social harmony. Despite the fact that it is made up of numerous opposing forces, the Caterpillar finds an equilibrium on its own. It’s amazing that an issue that, technically, is within the realm of Cost Accounting has become a philosophical and political issue that has dominated economics and government for almost 260 years. The fact that these other contributions were required does not entitle the contributors to a profit share.

However, you have to wonder why the alienation should be any different in the case of State Caterpillarism. None of the three methods, or systems, exists in pure form. Systems practiced today in the United States, Great Britain, Japan, or the Soviet Union are better described as mixed economies, which contain elements of both the market economy and the planned economy. For example, within free enterprise there are obvious government-sanctioned monopolies, such as electric power companies, railroads, and communications systems. The Economic Revolution The development of historical factors which culminated in the adoption of the market system (capitalism). Physiocrats A group of thinkers during the Age of Enlightenment who opposed mercantilism, believing instead that the true source of wealth derives from land and agriculture; they advocated the doctrine of laissez faire.

Adam Smith, in fact, was neither pro-capital nor pro-labor. At the University of Glasgow, he was influenced by the concept of "the greatest happiness of the greatest number." Consequently, he avoided taking sides with any class, concerning himself with the promotion of wealth for all of England's classes.Malthus & Riccardo a tragic couplet for Heilbroner, as with Smith there is a section on their quirkiness and general context (Riccardo had a high pitched voice and was good at charades while Malthus had a cleft palate and couldn't pronounce the letter 'l') before a discussion of their thought. Both seen as pessimistic in relation to Smith - his political economy was a self regulating machine, while Heilbroner has it that Malthus and Riccardo had discovered the tragedy of continual growth. He starts the book off with one essential question: what makes the modern economy so radically different from medieval and ancient economies so as to necessitate the invention of an entirely new branch of knowledge, namely ‘economics’, or a study of the ‘political economy’? A valuable introduction to any course in economics. Students will find a basic explanation of capitalism, socialism, communism, prosperity, depression, and the practical workings of an economy. In marked contrast to the dry, technical, and theoretical treatment of economics by most textbooks, The Worldly Philosophers offers a vibrant, practical explanation of the world of economics — past, present, and future. A student will find it extremely profitable to study the book along with these notes prior to enrolling in a course or taking an exam in economic principles and problems.

Not only did he believe a Revolution would happen, he believed that it was dictated by the concept of Dialectical Materialism. It was inevitable, and the duty of Communists around the world was to facilitate the Revolution. The interests of the two classes are diametrically opposed. One class does not win, unless another loses. An overview of the political, social, and ethical concepts of economic thought. For the person pursuing an education on the history of the lives, times, and ideas of the great economic thinkers of the Western world, this book contains a capsulized version of the major tenets. The Referee supported the Caterpillarists with cash and credit, so that they in turn could pay wages and salaries to the Workers and Management.Fearful that this might sound to the general reader like “The Most Dismal Scientists”, he approached the project from a more philosophical point of view, so as to help understand alternative visions for the economy within society rather than the internal operation of the economy at a mechanical or purely political level. To explain this, Heilbroner postulates two means throughout history by which those in power ensured that everyone performed the duties according to their social station: command and tradition. In traditional caste-bound societies like India, social function is passed on through lineage while in the time of the ancient Egyptians, it was through the divine pharaoh’s command that the massive Pyramids were built. In any case, it was a combination of these two manners of transfer of authority that provided everyone with their ‘roles’ in society. In his eyes, it’s a beautiful thing, it’s capable of progress, change, growth and improvement, it works, and it doesn't need anybody from outside to make it work or tweak it.

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