Thinking Like An Economist Sample Essay

It is a fact that no individual can be self-sufficient. Everybody needs the input of external parties to live comfortably. Similarly, countries also need the help of other countries since no country can be self-sufficient. Countries need to import goods that they do not have the capacity of producing. Therefore, free trade encourages specialization of countries. Specialization increases the production capabilities of countries, thereby facilitating economic growth. To facilitate free trade, countries need to reduce regulations that restrict free trade. Formation of the European Union is one of the boldest attempts to increase trade between the EU member states, and therefore, facilitate economic growth of the member states. Despite having vast benefits, free trade also has various limitations that may harm a country’s economy. Therefore, it is vital for countries to undertake extensive research before deciding whether to engage in free trade.

Production of various goods and services requires the presence of factors of production. These are labor, natural resources and capital. Scarcity of the factors of production necessitates their use in the most efficient manner. Factors of production may favor the production of certain goods and services. This necessitates the use of the factors of production in making goods and services that make optimum use of the factors of production. This would enable a company or country to move closer to its production possibilities curve. Production possibilities curve is the maximum combination of products that a country or company can produce using similar resources. Reduction in trade barriers of EU member states facilitates specialization of EU member states in areas where they have comparative advantage, while importing products that they are incapable of producing efficiently. Specialization increases the production capabilities of EU member states enabling them to move closer to their product possibilities curve. Specialization also enables nations to invest more in producing specific products.

In most instances, nations operate inside their product possibilities curve. This is because it is hard for a nation to use all its resources effectively. Idle capital, labor or natural resources make a nation operate within its production possibilities curve. This inhibits a nation from attaining its production potential. Unemployment is one of the major reasons that make nations operate inside their production frontier. Nations that operate inside their production possibilities curve can move closer to their production possibilities curve without incurring any opportunity cost. This is because the factors of production were previously idle, prior to their use in production.

The production possibilities curve portrays a nation’s production capabilities. Therefore, an outward shift of the production possibilities translates to economic growth of the country. Increases in resources would result in an outward shift of the production possibilities curve. Increase in resources would increase a nation’s capability of producing goods and services (Taylor, 2006). An example is a nation that makes a discovery of vast amounts of oil. Oil would increase the sources of energy of the nation and provide more income when the country exports it. Improvement in technology would also lead to an outward shift in the production possibilities curve. Improvement in technology would facilitate production of more goods and services (Carbaugh, 2010).

Technological improvement and increase in natural resources lead to an increase in the living standards of residents of the country. However, an outward shift of the production possibilities curve does not necessary translate to improvement in the living standards of residents of the country. The production possibilities curve may shift outwards due to population growth. This does not lead to improvement in the living standards of residents of the country as it generates more mouths to feed (Bernanke, 2003). In fact, population growth leads to a decline in the living standards as people begin to put more pressure on the scarce resources. However, population growth leads to gains in human capital, which may increase the production possibilities of the country.

Opportunity cost accompanies any production decision. Economists strive to make a production decision that would lead to minimal opportunity costs. Producing a good or service that results in minimal opportunity cost makes a company or country have a comparative advantage. Formation of the EU enabled countries to specialize in activities that would make them have comparative advantage. Therefore, formation of the EU enabled certain nations – such as Germany – to specialize in the production of high-end products whereas other nations such as Portugal specialized in the production of cheap products. Countries that specialize in production of high-valued products have high-income levels whereas countries that specialize in the production of cheap products have low incomes (Thompson, 2001). However, by specializing in cheap products, the EU member states did not reduce their income levels. These nations had low incomes even before the formation of the EU. Formation of the EU enabled the nations increase their incomes. In addition, nations that specialize in the production of high-end products had high levels of income even before the formation of the EU. However, the EU has enabled them to improve their income levels significantly.

Free trade has many benefits to any nation. Free trade leads to increased production. As the EU has shown, free trade enables a nation to specialize in products in which it has a comparative advantage. Specialization enables nations to improve their efficiencies through increased output and economies of scale. Free trade also enables consumers to gain access to a variety of products. Increase in the variety of products increases competition leading to improvement in the quality and reduction in price of the products (Carbaugh, 2010). Free trade also leads to foreign exchange gains. Exports enable countries to receive foreign currencies. The country may use the foreign currencies to pay for imports.

However, free trade may also harm a country’s economy. Free trade may make countries with surplus products dump them in other countries at very low costs. This creates an unfair competition in the market. This ultimately leads to collapse of companies that are unable to cope with the competition from the cheap imports. The competitive industry may also inhibit the establishment of local industries. This necessitates governments to institute legislation that protects local industries (Boone & Kurtz, 2012). The other major limitation of free trade is that it makes a nation prone to instabilities in the international trade cycles. Economic downturns in other nations would affect the country significantly. This was evident in the global financial crisis where the economic downtown of the US affected other countries significantly.

The aim of every nation is to increase its production possibilities. Nations can only achieve this by using their resources effectively. Countries strive to channel resources to areas where there would be efficient use of the resources. Determining the most efficient field to channel the resources is one of the most difficult economic decisions. This decision ultimately determines whether a nation would have a free market, socialist or mixed economy.

References

Bernanke, B. (2003). Principles of macroeconomics. Beijing: McGraw-Hill Education (Asia) Co.

Boone, L.E. & Kurtz, D.L. (2012). Contemporary marketing, 2013 Update. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Carbaugh, R.J. (2010). Contemporary economics: An applications approach. Edmonds, WA: M.E. Sharpe.

Taylor, J. (2006). Principles of macroeconomics. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Thompson, G. (2001). Governing the European economy. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Civil War Prevention: Learning From History

Introduction

The two most pressing problems for the US, which appeared long before the start of the war, were the abolition of slavery and the bourgeois-democratic solution to the land question. However, before the outbreak of hostilities, a political split of the country took place, so the reunion of the US was added to the relevant tasks to be solved. The secession of the states was maintained by the slave-owning South. Most of the citizens were interested in solving of these three issues.

Main body

The colonization policy caused mass migration and exacerbated the problem of slavery. Southern planters insisted that the right to use slave labor be extended to new territories. The constitutions of the northern states banned slavery and opposed its proliferation. The conflict was resolved in 1820 when the parties agreed that the territory west of the Mississippi River would be divided into the southern part where slavery remained and the northern regions where it was forbidden.1 However, the problem of slavery re-emerged and led to debates in Congress and society. In 1850, Senator Clay came up with a compromise but efforts to realize it failed. Later, in 1854, democrat Douglas introduced the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which left the choice of slavery to the discretion of local authorities.2 In fact, he inadvertently provoked a civil war in Kansas.3 It might be assumed that constant compromises were an attempt to smooth contradictions, but not to resolve them.

The plethora of unsteady agreements did not remove the problem of the political split as well. The abolitionist movement realized that it was impossible to fight legally against slavery and resorted to extremist methods such as John Brown’s raid in 1859. The Republican Party was gaining an increasing number of supporters. Soon, Lincoln became one of the greatest Republican leaders. He did not see the abolition of slavery as a primary political goal. His main goal was to preserve the integrity of the US.4 However, when opposed doctrines were tearing the country, Lincoln would have had to wage the Civil War sooner or later.

All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that the imminent inevitable conflict in the US was not straightforward. The situation in the country depended on the real balance of power. Hence, the numerous, but not steady, compromises between the bourgeoisie of the North and the planters of the South on many problems took place. Constant contradictions that were eroding the US’s integrity made the Civil War unpreventable.

References

  1. Shi, David E., and George Brown Tindal. America: A Narrative History. 9th ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2016.
  2. Fortaleza Klinger, Julius. Road to the Civil War: The Missouri Compromise. PDF. Maneto Undergraduate Research Journal, 2018.
  3. Guelzo, Allen C. “Lincoln and the Abolitionists.” The Wilson Quarterly 24, no. 4 (2000): 58–70.

Footnotes

  1. Julius Fortaleza Klinger, Road to the Civil War: The Missouri Compromise, PDF, Maneto Undergraduate Research Journal, 2018.
  2. David Emory Shi and George Brown Tindal, America: A Narrative History, 9th ed. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2016), 618.
  3. Shi and Tindal, America, 619.
  4. Allen C. Guelzo, “Lincoln and the Abolitionists,” The Wilson Quarterly 24, no. 4 (2000): 70.

The Struggle From Faith To Faith In Night By Elie Wiesel

Introduction

The essay analyses the novel Night by Elie Wiesel and examines the story of Eliezer’s struggle with his faith. It exposes Eliezer’s great faith and how it eventually weakens due to his experience.

Eliezer’s Struggle to Keep His Faith in God

In the novel Night by Elie Wiesel, great conflict is portrayed through Eliezer’s struggle with his faith. Actually, Eliezer has such a great faith in God that he does not believe in a life without his faith in a divine power. Eliezer holds intense faith in God who he believes is an almighty Being. His struggle against his faith in God is brought about by an atrocious experience in his life. The novel illustrates painful occurrences that a young man experiences during the Holocaust. Basically, Elie grew up in Eastern Europe as a child who was intensely spiritual and passionate in his faith in God. Elie frequents the synagogue and commonly weeps when praying (Devera, 5).

His weeping during prayer portrays his intense passion for his creator. Eliezer’s immense faith in the Almighty is initiated and fuelled by his studies in Jewish mysticism. His studies actually teach him of the presence of God everywhere in the world. He learns that actually nothing could ever exist on the planet without the presence of God and that all things in the physical world actually portray the divine world. The novel shows that Eliezer grows up with the knowledge that everything on the planet represents God’s great power and holiness (Marion & Elie, 56).

Eliezer believes that God can be found everywhere and that his divinity is present in each aspect of his everyday life. Therefore, Eliezer is of opinion that if God is everywhere in the world, then the world should be a good place. Evidently, Eliezer’s faith in God is initially very intense, although it is later shaken by his horrible experience during the Holocaust. The novel illustrates that Eliezer’s faith is significantly affected and shaken after experiencing intense vindictiveness during the Holocaust.

Eliezer witnesses the heinous de-humanization introduced by the Nazis among the prisoners. Eliezer cannot accept that the concentration camps’ heinous brutality can actually depict divinity. He cannot believe that a compassionate God could allow such cruelty to occur. Eliezer’s faith is also negatively affected by the selfishness portrayed by the prisoners. He believes that the prisoners should join forces in order to contest and overcome the tyranny of the Nazis. Eliezer is sure that if the prisoners rebel against the Nazis, this hazard may be seen as an evil that may be overcome. If that had been the case, Eliezer could have managed to maintain his belief in the goodness of mankind.

Basically, Eliezer perceives the Holocaust as an illustration of selfishness, cruelty, and evil that every individual has. He believes that the Holocaust event uncovered the fact that not only the Nazis had the ability of showing brutality, self-centeredness, and evil, but also Jews and the prisoners. The novel also shows how Eliezer begins to think that if the planet is so repulsive and evil, then the Almighty is also disgusting or his existence is actually false.

Conclusion

Therefore, it is evident that the Holocaust experience actually deteriorated his faith. However, Eliezer’s horrible experience does not completely obliterate his faith. Some of the experiences in his life have managed to sustain his faith in God (Sternlicht, 35). Some of the situations in the camp cause him to have moments when he grappled for his faith. Nevertheless, Eliezer’s struggle against his faith during his horrible experiences should not be seen as an absolute abandonment of his faith. It is clear that Eliezer has not ceased in believing in the Almighty. However, it is evident that Eliezer has stopped being so passionate about the creator. It can only be considered as the most unfortunate predicament for any individual of such a great faith (Marion & Elie, 109).

Works Cited

Devera, John. Eliezer’s Struggle to Maintain Faith in God in Night, by Elie Wiesel. Helium. 2008. Web.

Sternlicht, Sanford. Student Companion to Elie Wiesel. Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Press, 2003. Print.

Wiesel, Elie. Night. Trans. Marion Wiesel. London: Penguin Books Limited. 2012. Print.

error: Content is protected !!