discussion notes 3-4

discussion notes 3-4 - Steve Jobs assuredly one of the...

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Week 1 Lead-in Discussion: Why do we work so hard? At the deepest point of the Great Depression, the eminent British Economist John Maynard Keynes wrote an optimistic paper on the “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren.” (If you’d like to read the paper, follow a link from the main page of the course web site). Keynes noted the rapid advances in productivity during his lifetime—not even Keynes needed a stable boy to tend horses any more (although he did have a chauffeur for his Rolls Royce). Keynes predicted that in the way far off future, say by 1980, people would just need to work about four hours a week. Well, look at what’s happened! People seem to be working longer and longer hours. Indeed, the highest paid individuals seem to have the longest work weeks. For example, consider
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Unformatted text preview: Steve Jobs, assuredly one of the hardest working individuals on the planet. He has a net worth of about $5.7 billion. If Mr. Jobs safely invested his fortune he could rely on an income of $5.5 million. Oh, by the way, that’s more than five million a week not a year. Why don’t people just work a few hours a week, as Keynes predicted, and then go home? What did Keynes get wrong? • Assumed most people would want the same amount of output • Consumers have increased demand • Always something new • Global economy • Variance in wage • More competition • Increase in education/gender changes • Population increase growth (e.g. Baby Boomer) • Standard of living increase Paper • Confusion on how to account for items at home o Should account for cost: per usage basis...
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