Saturday, October 22, 2011


First, in response to our discussion this week:

We have talked a little about things like New Zealand's fishing quota management system, which has helped to make the fishing market more sustainable. In this case, it appears as the though the government was able to assist the market by clearly defining and maintaining private property rights. Are there any other ways that government intervention can assist markets? Is this a true government success story?

I really enjoyed the podcast this week. Particularly, I liked the part where Smith discussed the reaction to his first paper, "If you believe in markets, you don't necessarily need evidence." It almost sounds like the editor was defending free market economy on religious grounds. So it was nice to hear Smith showing his skepticism of textbook teaching methods, and emphasizing the need for experimentation in the classroom. Real life models have much more of an impact on me than a price vs. quantity graph written on a sheet of paper, and I also feel that theories should be tested. It is fascinating that price's can be set purely through the exchange of goods, and that this leads to the creation of wealth. Smith's examples made it easier for me to conceptualize the self-regulating nature of a free market. They also lead me to ask the following questions:

How do government education standards affect education?
Should children be placed into specialized education programs that maximize their comparative advantage at an early age? Or should education be more general? If so, what should be taught in schools? Is there a way that the market could determine this?

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