Thursday, April 2, 2015

Any good ideas?

As you study Bentham, Ricardo, Malthus, Smith and the Utopian Socialists, which of their ideas were the best? Why?

24 comments:

  1. I feel out of all of these people, Saint Simon had the best idea. Saint Simon focused on the working class. He felt the working class needed to be treated better than what they had been. The working class were a great help to the economy, because they were the ones actually working very hard to do well in life. Saint Simon felt they needed to be rewarded for the work they did, because this would continue to ensure that they will work hard. When it came to economics, he agreed with Adam Smith to a point, but felt a group of people needed to look over the economy and make sure things go smoothly. These people that looked over the economy would be picked based on skills they had, not who they were (meritocracy). I think Saint Simon's idea was best, because it was is similar to how things work today. If you have a good job and do well with it in today's society, you are paid better, treated better, and recognized for your hard work, and this is what Saint Simon wanted.

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    1. I also agree with Macie in that Saint Simon had the best idea in treating the working class better. Because of how they were treated before, I would not want to work at all, but I would have no choice but to suck it up, die, or move to an other country. As a person from today's world. I would hate to see myself doing a hard job and getting paid really crappy. But when this was in play, it wasn't that mainstream. Saint Simon was to treat and reward the working class better. Once you start rewarding someone, they will try harder and do a better job. They will also want to work more and put more hours in. When they were getting treated like crap, they really didn't want to work. Now they would have an incentive to work harder. Today, the only way we will is for an incentive. We get paid way better and treated way better. So yes, I do believe that Saint Simon was right about treated and rewarding the working class better, and we still carry this out in today's world.

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  3. I think, in theory, Robert Owen's idea for a Utopian society was really good. He also put his ideas into practice and though they didn't work in the long run they were effective at first. First his idea to oppose the long work days was not thought to be a good idea by the other factory owners at the time but he still tried it. I also really like his ideas of "Combination of children's education with productive labour" while this still means that the children are working full days alongside their parents and other adults in factory conditions, Owen at least understands the importance of education. Even if the education consisted only of productive work skills.

    The conditions of the factorizes were another thing that Owen made an effort to improve. In his own company he improved this right away, and this carried through into his new communities. The workers, of course, loved the new conditions and the workers outside his own company and cities started to expect the same good conditions. When his plans took hold even more he was successful enough to start bettering even more things for his workers. Through the company the workers had better housing, real schools, and stores. His ideas made him famous for being an amazing man who did great things for the average person. Eventually many workers wanted to be apart of such communities and hundreds of people came to see his factories like it was a tourist destination.

    The downfall of Owen's ideas came when the communities he set up went bankrupt. Because of labor unions the hours were decreasing and the and conditions were improving in other factories so Owen's ideas were no longer as radical. When his ideas first started to take effect his factories were like paradises but eventually they just became what everyone expected. I think that the ideas of all these Utopian socialists are good, but will never be able to be put into practice.

    http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1970s/1971/no-801-may-1971/robert-owen-utopian-socialist
    http://www.booksandideas.net/Robert-Owen-The-Father-of-British.html

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    1. I agree with Camille that Robert Owen had the best ideas. He was looking for ways to better improve the working conditions and children’s education. Both of ideas were really great and worked for awhile. As Camille said, and I agree with, “Owen at least understands the importance of education.” Education is becoming almost crucial to working because it will allow a person to do more in the workforce. Because of some companies, workers were able to live in better houses, provide better stores, and allow children to receive better education. Owen was successful for awhile until communities go bankrupt, as Camille has mentioned. In my opinion, Owen had the best ideas among the rest of the Utopian socialists.

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  5. I would also agree with Macie and Brittany with picking Saint Simon for having the best ideas as a socialist. As they said, his main focus was the working class. Many agreed with the idea of treating the working class better but no one wanted to put their opinions out there. He was for guided capitalism because he believed capitalism could not be successful without some help. His idea was to have a group of people with the ability to look over and organize the economy to ensure it runs smoothly. Workers were paid what they were worth, along with what they put into their work. I feel like his ideas were the best because it helps the people the most without huge back falls such as what Owen had with debt.

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  6. Of the Utopian Socialist thinkers I find the ideas Jeremy Bentham revolutionary. Bentham was british, and is considered the father of utilitarianism. He introduces the policy of utilitarianism to the world for the first time. Utilitarianism is that the moral thing to do is what maximizes utility. Whereas utility can be defined by economic well being, pleasure, and the lack of suffering. It was of Bentham's opinion that this policy should be applied to every policy of government. That they should have a statistical analysis of every policy and if it helps more people then it hurts, then it should be adopted. If it doesn't then it shouldn't. Bentham had a way to calculate this by using a great number of factors.

    This Policy of utilitarianism would be in support of policy and ideas of our system of government like ObamaCare or socialized medicine in general. Things like college financial aid. Or the freedom and equal rights for all people. He would also be in support of many entitlement type programs. Any policy that is designed to help more people then it hurts, would be supported by Bentham.

    Besides utilitarianism, Bentham was also very enlightened for his time period, and advocating for humane treatment of all people. He supported the abolition of slavery, as well as the death penalty. He also advocated for policies of equal rights for women, homosexuals, and even an early supporter of animal rights. He also believed that there should be a separation of church and state in government, and that everyone should have freedom of speech and of the press.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Bentham
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarianism
    http://www.iep.utm.edu/bentham/

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  7. I agree with Matt that Bentham is one of the greatest thinkers with some of the greatest ideas. His view of having utilitarianism is extremely important, and especially important during the time because it's obvious that over have of the workers (with nearly 90% being unskilled) would believe that not enough equality is present. Also, women would feel the same way, as they were normally hired to work in factories because they didn't require to be payed as much. It's obvious that conditions were harsh in factories, and for any poor person, and Bentham's ideas of using statistics may have helped many poor people including the unskilled, extremely young children, and women that had tough lives and short life expectancy. His beliefs of people having freedom of speech and press were important too, but his thought of maximizing utility make him one of the great Utopian Socialist thinkers, especially for the time period he was in. You could make an argument people like Owen are important for decreasing work hours, etc. (which they are), but without Bentham's idea of utilitarianism the government could still be very harsh in many aspects.

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  9. I think that Smith had the best ideas. I believe this because Smith is the father of modern day capitalism. Without Smith we may have never created capitalism. Capitalism is an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. This kept us from having a communist government. Along with capitalism Smith came up with the idea of laissez faire. Laissez faire means that people decide what they get paid, how much they pay, and so on. This is very true. Everybody has the ability to chose and that is a big part of today's economy. Ultimately I chose Smith as the one with the best ideas because he is the one that has affected our lives the most.

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  10. I think that Malthus had the best idea out of all of them. It may not have been something that I completely agree with, but his ideas did make sense. At that time the Industrial revolution was still going on strong, and the different conditions were starting to improve. This includes the work conditions, living conditions, and also we were starting to get more advanced with medicine. It was starting to get more obvious that the population was starting to grow, since children had a better chance of survival now. Thats when Malthus had the idea that we will no longer have enough food to feed our growing population. The idea when you first hear it makes complete sense, but when you think about it, with all of the advances, there would be more people able to work towards growing and producing more food. But overall the idea from Malthus inspired other ideas that were very popular in the Industrial revolution.

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  11. I believe that Charles Fourier had the best ideas. He believed that wealth was determined based on one’s job. He stated that people should have jobs based on their interests and desires. He also thought that poverty was the principal cause for disorder in society. He thought that to fight against this, wages should be higher and create a “minimum” for those who are unable to work. He was also a believer in women’s rights. He thought that women shouldn’t be denied a job based on their gender, but rather or not they can perform the task at hand. He saw women as individuals, and not just “the other half of the couple.” He also understood that all people had different sexual needs and desires, so he understood the idea of homosexuality and he thought that people should just let it be if there was a homosexual couple. He believed in education and the liberation of human passion for all men, women and children. A lot of his ideas that I have listed are also some of my beliefs, which is why I think he had the best ideas compared to the other socialists.

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  12. I would say that Saint Simon had the best idea. He main focus was the working class and he wanted guided capitalism. If the working class is the main group, then they should be your main focus. If you make them mad or don’t treat them the way they would like then you could really be getting into some trouble. If you want them to work and be good at what they do, you’re going to have to treat them nice. Also the guided capitalism is a good idea I think because you want to have someone overseeing it. If you don’t you never know what could happen and how the economy will end up.

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  13. As mentioned before, I still think Saint Simon had the best idea when it came to a Utopian Society. Saint Simon felt that the working class needed to be reorganized in order to have an effective society and an efficient economy. Saint Simon believed that the working class consisted of those people who were businessmen to scientists and even the manual labourers. He felt the group of people most harmful to a society were those who don't work, but still benefit from the work of others.

    One of the main things Saint Simon thought would help with working people would be the recognition of the merit of an individual. He felt that society should have a hierarchical merit-based organizations of managers and scientists to be the decision makers. Although Saint Simon was from an aristocratic family, he still was in major favor of meritocracy. He also thought the feudal system in France needed to be taken apart. In place of the feudal system would be an Industrial Society.

    Saint Simon was a firm believer that science could help run society. Scientists and engineers would be in control of most aspects of society to help create a better society. What Saint Simon wanted was an industrialized society run by modern science. With this would come rule from the most well suited people in society. In a society controlled by science, religion could be questioned. However, in his writings he feels that religion is essential, and attempts to resolve Christianity into something it once was. His main idea with religion was that it should "guide a community toward the great aim of improving as quickly as possible the conditions of the poorest class." Saint Simon was a Utopian Socialists with several ideas that would make up an ideal society, and his ideas were very reasonable, so that is why I feel his ideas were the best.

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/518228/Henri-de-Saint-Simon
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Henri_de_Rouvroy,_comte_de_Saint-Simon#Ideas

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    1. I agree with Macie that Saint Simon had one of the better ideas. He had ideas that most would consider fair. Back then, everyone was just trying to find a way to put society back in order. Everything and everyone was a mess back then. They used trial and error so much to try to figure the best way to bring order. Macie made a good point mentioning - "guide a community toward the great aim of improving as quickly as possible the conditions of the poorest class." - This was the whole concept of problems and made a good point of what needed to be fixed and how it should be fixed.

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  14. Because I am I'm impartial as to who had the best ideas, I thought it best to include each person's main points. My reasoning is that all people with ideas at that time each had somewhat of a good point no matter what some of their other points stated. There were so many messes with society and the working class that they had to use trial and error to try to figure out what was the best way to handle everything. I believe that everyone had some kind of good point as to how things were done. No one's ideas are perfect, but all have some good points.

    Saint Simon said that - " ... working class needed to be recognized and fulfilled to have an effective society and an efficient economy." His ideas even inspired many others associated with utopian socialism.
    Charles Fourier - "... advocated a reconstruction of society based on idea that the natural passions of man would, if properly channeled, result in social harmony."
    Robert Owen - "... believed character was formed by experience and that the dreadful environment of child workers would inevitably lead to damaged and dehumanised adults."

    Just think, if all these people came together to figure out what might have been best. Maybe we would've had a better result. What if there would have been an idea that worked really well and would have stuck. maybe society and other aspects would have gone more smoothly.

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/518228/Henri-de-Saint-Simon
    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Charles_Fourier
    http://robert-owen-museum.org.uk

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  15. Malthus had the idea of that family size need to be regulated and the only way to do that would be with poverty and poor conditions. He believed that this was gods way of preventing people from being lazy and keeping people working hard. This was his reasoning behind keeping working wages low for the workers during the industrial revolution.
    Malthus believed that with lower wages it would keep the lower from having a lot of kids that survive and this would lead to a more competition between siblings. Also it would lead to less lower class people surviving.
    Another thing that Malthus said was that people would not overpopulat to the point of starvation because they would adapt to the economic changes with food. He also states that when the the world food goes up also the population goes up so people would not starve.
    http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/malthus.html
    http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Malthus.html

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