1. What is the difference between self-interest and selfishness? Why is this distinction important when considering the competitive market economy as appropriate for a society?
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We must define these two terms to be able to understand the difference between them. Self-interest is when someone is trying to protect their interest, but also take other people into account, and the effects it may have on them. Selfishness if when a person makes decisions based on self with no regard to others. Now that these terms have been defined, we can put them into the competitive market, as it is appropriate for society. If someone is making decisions in an economic market, based on self-interest, they are looking out for both the effects on the company and the customer. If someone is making decisions out of selfishness, they are really only looking out for themselves. This will not benefit the customer, and are the type of people that we want to stay away from.
2. Does your textbook present only positive economics and avoid any normative economics? If not, give some examples of normative issues covered in your textbook.
Positive economics is objective and fact based. Normative economics is subjective and value based. Roger Miller made a comment that states “…the very choice of which topics to include in an introductory textbook involves normative economics. There is not a value-free, or objective, way to decide which topics to use in a textbook.” There is not way for the textbook to have just positive economics, and just by the choice of subjects, made it unable to just be positive.
3. What did Adam Smith believe serves to curb self-interest in an economy?
The book talks about Adam Smith’s work titled, Wealth of Nations. Out of that book, came the Invisible hand quote. This quote is so popular, according to the textbook, it has been published in one million economic textbooks. To curb self-interest in an economy, Adam Smith uses the “ invisible hand” principle. This principal stresses the tendency of the competitive market process to direct self-interested individuals into activities that enhance the economic welfare of society.
4. What does it mean to seek the kingdom of God in a democratic capitalist economy? How can it be done?
The kingdom of God, according to the text means, “ righteousness, peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit.” This comes from Romans 14: 17, and it was made available through Christ’s incarnation, death and resurrection. Success is measured in things, such as money and jobs. We know what we have comes from Christ. As humans, we seem to be so preoccupied with things that are so minor to the Kingdom. Things such as “ How will I pay the bills and feed the kids tonight?” God told his disciples to not worry, but to seek the Kingdom of God. This requires some deep thinking and determines your path in life.