perspective - Economic Perspective Economic Macroeconomics...

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Economic Perspective Economic Perspective Macroeconomics I ECON 309 S. Cunningham
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2 Methodological Individualism Methodological Individualism Classical liberalism, classical economics and neoclassical economics are based on the conception that society is the sum of the individuals. People are whatever they are and their individual preferences, feelings, moral outlooks, etc. All aggregate to the perceived identity of the collective. “Society” is a fiction; Society does not shape individuals, individuals are shaped independently of the social structure. When adopted as a methodology in analysis, this is referred to as methodological individualism . Every analysis must begin with the individual, deal with individual choices and experiences, with collectives formed as aggregates.
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3 Counterpoint Counterpoint Marx argues that society shapes the individual, and that individuals have great difficulty in separating themselves from the influence of those around themselves to make independent decisions. In fact, society is the principle factor shaping individuals. To change the world toward a better one, one cannot rely on individual actions since individuals are perverted by the corrupt (capitalist) society in which they live and cannot be expected to see clearly enough to make personal choices. Therefore, the state (the collective) must make decisions for the common good. The collective is more important than the individual.
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4 Private Property Private Property Rousseau sees all things as belonging collectively to society, whereas Locke sees things, not previously claimed, belonging to those incorporate their labor to do something with it. Locke defends property rights and process justice. To Locke private property is a “good.” Marx, following Rousseau and Plato, sees private property as the root of much evil in the world. Adam Smith accepts Locke’s vision of a free society based on individual choice, property rights, and process justice, and attempts to show that this yields “just” and optimal outcomes.
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5 Distributive Justice Distributive Justice John Rawls John Rawls A Theory of Justice (1971). Called the most important work on ethics in over 100 years. Tries to find a middle ground between the “fully” end-state approach of the utilitarians and the process approach of the property rights advocates. Compromise between process and consequences as the focus of justice. Cannot consider what is “good”, but rather what is “fair”. Hence, this is referred to as Justice as Fairness (JAF).
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6 Distributive Justice Distributive Justice John Rawls (Continued) John Rawls (Continued) Approach: Original position: Imagine a group of people setting up a government and economic system. They must choose principle of justice principle of difference rules about the priority of ranking of these principles “Original Position” approach is meant to embody “contractarianism,” a theory that has its roots in the social contract of Rousseau, Locke, and Kant. Leads to a result
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