The Worldly Philosophers

August 24, 2009 § Leave a comment

1. How is scarcity and survival intertwined?

Scarcity is defined when there is not an inadequate amount of good or service to meet its demand, while survival is the outreach of continuing to live. For survival, we all need to satisfy our necessities, such as food, shelter, or anything else, you name it; but survival also can mean competition between people to people, or people to nature. Unfortunately, in our modern society, all resources, natural and artificial, are insufficient to produce all wants and needs of service and goods, obligatory for human survival.  This is what causes scarcity.

For example, if there were a limited amount of masks in an event of the ‘deadly’ swine flu, then most people would attempt in buying these masks to prevent themselves from the flu, for survival. If the amount of masks were limited, then the majority would make an effort in buying them. Therefore, scarcity and survival are intertwined because if  goods (such as masks) or  services did not meet their needs, survival for a section of people will be  difficult.

2. What are advantages and disadvantages of the two ways societies have been organized in the past?

If every father of the family had to hand down his tasks from generation to generation according to tradition; or if all jobs were determined by castes like in India, there will be some advantages as well as disadvantages that comes along in these societies.

First, an advantage for a traditional economy is that roles of individuals are clearly outlined. Every member of the society will know what exactly they are supposed to do, and mostly there will be less complaints regarding this matter. Since most people are aware of their occupations, there will be an additional amount of people contributing to the economy, and therefore, no scarcity in certain occupations. Regardless of the advantages, there are many other disadvantages in a traditional economy. At often times in this society, the introducing of new technologies are fairly slower than others. People in this society likes to stick to one idea continuously, and new ideas and techniques are disheartened.

Second, it is generally easier to expect in authoritarian economies, as they have a distinct direction in terms of organization, and the management does not undulate away from what it is supposed to be. As a result, the decisions made as a whole society is very self-assured, and trustable; consequently, businesses will have well-defined goals. To add, the authoritarian economies go by swifter because the efficiency of decision-making are finer; the managers or top heads are the ones making decisions. However, because only the workers at a senior-level makes the final decisions, the workers under then are poorly motivated. In addition, the subordinates will be mostly likely rely on their bosses,possibly having the quality of performance drop.

3. Why was there no need for economists throughout most of history?

In previous times, economists were not needed because the study of people’s choices (regarding available resources) were not as appealing to the public; specialists such as philosophers were, since they brought in new ideas that could progress their way of thinking. In addition, the methods structured in the society were vastly implemented, especially religion and tradition; the majority considered that if everybody unites to fulfill their individual responsibilities, then there will be no turndown of society. As a result, economists were not needed until recent years.

4. Why do you think the econmic  revolution was so disturbing?

When there is a revolution, it requires a change in a great deal of aspects in the society, such as beliefs, tradition, methods, and so forth. Adjusting themselves to the new system requires a whole lot of energy and courage, and yes, it can cause trouble. Additionally, on an account of the economic revolution, people will have to saddle the risk of the changes making it for the worse. Man pursue in convenience at the expense of what they have valued all along. The endeavor made by revolutionists to convince the public to adapt to the new changes, is not easy, therefore, the economic revolution was disturbing in these ways.

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