This is a great podcast from Planet Money, an offshoot of This American Life on NPR. In this podcast they provide a brief description of life in communist China and discuss the development of capitalism in China's economy. Pay specific attention to why the farmers in this story decided to meet, what solution they came up with to solve their hunger problems, and what the reaction was by Chinese government officials.
In your opinion, could the farmers plan be applied to any other industry but farming? Can a system like that developed by the farmers in this story truly exist within a communist economy long term?
Here's a good video from the Wall Street Journal on the role that firms have in job creation. This is especially relevant to where we are in class, and with the Occupy Wall Street campaign. How does this video relate to the circular flow model from the start of the semester? If a company maximizes its profit this implies that it minimize costs (which includes money spent on hiring people). Do companies do what is best (from society's point of view) by maximizing profits?
I'll admit that the Occupy Wall Street campaign has lasted a lot longer then I expected it would. This article gives a little bit of a background on the "conflict", but is also cool because of the what percent are you tool. So, let's assume you have a monthly budget of $1,500 dollars that comes from either working, your parents, loans/scholarships, or a combination of all three. Work that out to cover a year and it looks like you make $18,000 a year. Plug that into the calculator (along with your actual "income") and see where that puts you. Are you suprised by this? Do you feel ashamed that about a fifth of America makes less than you (in this scenario)? If you could, would you go join the movement?
As a sidenote, Steve Jobs was comfortably in the top 1%. Are you happier that he created the iPhone, iPad, iEtc. or can you not "tolerate the greed and corruption" of this top percenter.
Here is an article from The Economist on the dismal situation that many North Koreans face. What is the distinguishing difference between the way North Korea and America's governments operate? What would you predict to happen if Kim Jong Il allowed people to make their own choices about what/how much/what price to buy and sell? In the same city that offers luxury dog spas there are many who are homeless and without food. Do you judge the American system to be better?For lack of a better phrase... just some food for thought.
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