History of Economic Thought Mercantilist Term Paper

  • Length: 8 pages
  • Sources: 8
  • Subject: Economics
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #47524446

Excerpt from Term Paper :

It offers a good theory as it emphasizes on the production and export of those items for which a country possesses a comparative advantage. Furthermore, through its focus on the reduction of taxes and tariffs in international trade and the adherent practices, the theory of comparative costs has set the basis for the contemporaneous processes of market liberalization and globalization.

But the theory has not been spared from criticism. Oumar Bouare states that "the market price of a commodity does not converge toward its natural price. (Then) the outcome of complete specialization in Ricardo's framework locks third world and developing countries out of industrialization; and free trade could destroy the industrial base of a country, which in the long run could generate more wealth for the country than an imported product. This might also lock the country out of industrialization." b) in 1848, utilitarian economist John Stuart Mill wrote the Principles of Political Economy, book which was intended as a remembrance and enlargement of the concepts promoted by David Ricardo, especially in the field of international trade. This book then became the basis of Mill's future work, in which he addressed "the influences of societal progress and of government on economic activity (and vice versa)"

6. Thomas Malthus a) in the Principle of Population, English economist Thomas Robert Malthus blamed the world's misery on the extensive reproduction of mankind. His concepts were based on the ideas that in "nature plants and animals produce far more offspring than can survive, and that Man too is capable of overproducing if left unchecked. Malthus concluded that unless family size was regulated, man's misery of famine would become globally epidemic and eventually consume Man. Malthus' view that poverty and famine were natural outcomes of population growth and food supply was not popular among social reformers who believed that with proper social structures, all ills of man could be eradicated."

As well as the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries offered disclaimers and also supporters of the population theory, the twenty-first century once again presents both. The extent to which Thomas Matlthus' theory can be relevant to the contemporaneous society depends from the stand point taken by the respondent. I for one would say that it is relevant and to support my statement, I would offer two simple examples: the underdeveloped countries in Africa and Ireland. After the Great Potato Famine, the population in Ireland changed their lifestyles, including the reduction of marriages and a lower natality rate to focus on careers and a financial security. This resulted in increased wealth. Then, the underdeveloped countries in Africa, where there is no birth control and family planning, continue to increase in numbers and grow poorer and poorer. Another simple example is the tendency of developed countries to postpone family life and procreation until the future family heads have achieved financial security.

A b) Malthus' ideas on population can easily be applied to the modern context in the meaning that the environmental concerns can be a main reason for the concepts promoted by the classic economist. To better explain, the contemporaneous society is characterized by consumerism - we produce and consume more than we need and an increase in the number of population would increase the consumerism rates even more.

The works of late American economist Julian Simon are similar to those of Thomas Robert Malthus in the meaning that they both focus on the benefits of reduced population. In addition to the books of Malthus', Simon takes one step further and explains the modern concepts in the context of reduced natural resources and technological advancements, which would help humanity still save the planet and ourselves.

References

Bancroft, S., Clough, C.W., Economic History of Europe, Heath, 1952

Berdell, J.F., Adam Smith and the ambiguity of nations, Review of Social Economy, Volume 56, 1998

Bouare, O., an Evaluation of David Ricardo's Theory of Comparative Costs: Direct and Indirect Critiques, Retrieved from Policy Innovations

http://www.policyinnovations.org/ideas/policy_library/data/01445on March 6, 2008

Heilbroner, R.L., the Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers, Touchstone, 1999

Henderson, R., Biography of Adam Smith (1723-90), the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 1999-2002, http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Smith.htmllast accessed on March 6, 2008

Heydt, C., John Stuart Mill: Overview, the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2006, http://www.iep.utm.edu/m/milljs.html. Ast accessed on March 6, 2008

Hooper, C., Biography of Henry George (1839-97), the Library of Economics and Liberty, 1999-2002, http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/George.htmllast accessed on March 6, 2008

Marx, K., Theories of Surplus Value, Prometheus Books, Written in 1952, Reprinted in 2000

Munsey, M., Julian Simon - an Appreciation, 1998, http://www.juliansimon.com/last accessed on March 6, 2008

O'Hara, F., Physiocrats, the New Advent, 2007, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12067a.html. Ast accessed on March 6, 2008

Smith, a., an Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Written in 1776 and Republished in 2000 by Adamant Media Corporation

Steiner, P., Physiocracy and French Pre-Classical Political Economy, Blackwell Publishing, 2003

Mercantilism, FARLEX Dictionary, 2008, http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/Mercantile+schoollast accessed on March 6, 2008

The Encyclopaedia Britanica, University of Cambridge, 11th Edition, 1910

Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), University of California Museum of Paleontology, http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/malthus.htmllast accessed on March 6, 2008

Mercantilism, FARLEX Dictionary, 2008

Bancroft, S., Clough, C.W., Economic History of Europe, Heath, 1952

The Encyclopaedia Britanica, University of Cambridge, 11th Edition, 1910

Steiner, P., Physiocracy and French Pre-Classical Political Economy, Blackwell Publishing, 2003

Higgs, H., the Physiocrats, Six Lectures on the French, Economistes of the 18th Century, Kitchener, 2001

Marx, K., Theories of Surplus Value, Prometheus Books, Written in 1952, Reprinted in 2000

O'Hara, F., Physiocrats, the New Advent, 2007

Hooper, C., Biography of Henry George (1839-97), the Library of Economics and Liberty, 1999-2002

Smith, a., an Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Written in 1776 and Republished in 2000 by Adamant Media Corporation

Henderson, R., Biography of Adam Smith (1723-90), the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 1999-2002

Heilbroner, R.L., the Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers, Touchstone, 1999

Berdell, J.F., Adam Smith and the ambiguity of nations, Review of Social Economy, Volume 56, 1998

Bouare, O., an Evaluation of David Ricardo's Theory of Comparative Costs: Direct and Indirect Critiques, Policy Innovations

Heydt, C., John Stuart Mill: Overview, the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2006

Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), University of California Museum of Paleontology

Munsey, M., Julian Simon - an Appreciation, 1998

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