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(12) Economics and politics - (M Spencer Economics and...

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 5/7/09 Click to edit Master subtitle style Economics and politics (12) (M Spencer)
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Economics and politics are both social institutions Major sphere of social life or subsystem designed to meet  human needs
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 5/7/09 The Economy Historical Overview
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Economy is the  social institution that organizes a  society’s production, distribution and consumption  of goods and services Does so in a generally predictable manner Goods –  commodities ranging from necessities to  luxuries Services –  activities that benefit others  (priests,  teachers, doctors, computer techs)
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The Agricultural Revolution Resulting surplus meant that not everyone had to  produce food Ppl took on specialized work (tool making, raising  animals, etc) Agricultural technology, specialized work,  permanent settlements and trade made the economy  a distinct social institution
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The Industrial Revolution Brought even greater change than the agricultural  revolution 1. New sources of energy – muscle power gives way to  steam engine/ heavy machinery 2. Centralization of work in factories – use of machinery  moved work from homes to factories 3. Manufacturing and mass producing – instead of growing  or gathering raw materials, turn raw materials into  finished products 4. Specialization – move from an artisan making a product  start to end, repeats a single task over and over
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The Information Revolution and  Around 1950, nature of production is changing  again Postindustrial economy –  productive system based  on service work and high technology Service industries currently employ most working  ppl Shifts from industrial work to service work 3 general changes:
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Sectors of the Economy The 3 revolutions described reflect a shift between 3  sectors of the economy 1. Primary sector  – draw raw materials from the natural  environment Agriculture, fishing, ranching, forestry, mining 2% of high income countries labor force 2. Secondary sector  – transforms raw material into  manufactured goods Turning metals into cars
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The Global Economy New information technology draws nations closer  together and creates a global economy Expanding economic activity with little regard for  national borders Global division of labor – different regions of the world  specialize Increasing # of products pass through more than one  nation National govts no longer control the economic activity 
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 5/7/09 Economic Systems Paths to Justice
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Every society’s economy makes a statement about  justice by determining who gets what Two general models: Capitalism Socialism Two ends of the spectrum
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Capitalism Economic system in which natural resources and the 
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