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Lecture Notes10.10.06

Lecture Notes10.10.06 - Malthus Took a very practical...

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Malthus: Took a very practical perspective on political atmosphere Very violent time in Europe from 1780s-1815. Govnt was spending a lot of money to finance the war, therefore increasing inflation. France embargoed british isles, which made it difficult to import goods in. There was inflation all over continent. At the same time, there was economic growth. Adam Smith believed through the division of labor, it would be possible to increase efficiency, but he did not predict continual growth. Grew until it hit a limit, and pushed through it. Technology allowed for this. Real wages were increasing after 1750. Cities took on new roles—large areas urbanized…smaller communities broke down. People felt disconnected from familiar surroundings. Inflation also had a destabilizing effect on social relations. E.g. land owners—99 year leases, prices are going up, meaning that there was pressure on landlord to generate greater income, which also leads to increased rent. Also evicted people, which led to greater urbanization. If I break a contract, what does that say about my relationship to the rest of society? Adam smith said that no landlord would pay a worker lower than subsistence wage…because there was fellow feeling, and there was a connection between landlord and worker. As there are changes in land patterns, there are also changes in labor patterns. It becomes much easier to treat someone badly since they don’t live near you. There is no effective to redress problems because it becomes harder to create unions. Transportation beings to revolutionize the market that Smith had not imagined. Allow more territory to enter market…becomes much less local. People could see different products from diff. places and made them increase demand, as well as consumption.
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