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Alex Snyder

Econ 1740
J. Howell
March 31, 2015
Free or Equal Questions
1) Professor Milton Friedmans research led him to believe in the power of
economic freedom and individual and political freedom.
2) If the government gives everybody the same freedom to work some will do
better than others. The result will be equal opportunity, but not equal
3) The free market enables people to go into any industry they want; to trade
with whomever they want; to buy in the cheapest market around the world;
to sell in the dearest market around the world. Bust most important of all, if
they fail they bare the cost, if they succeed they get the benefit.
4) In the example of the lead pencil, what conclusion did Professor Friedman
reach in the context of invisible hands: To make your life better, you need to
better the lives of others.
5) When a businessman faces trouble, a market threatens to disappear or a new
competitor arises, there are two things he can do. He can turn to the
government for a tariff or a quota (or some other restriction on competition)
or he can adjust and adapt.
6) Economists call the constant renewal of the economy creative destruction. If
we want to increase our wealth and opportunities, we have to stop doing old
things in and start doing innovative things in better ways. In other words, we
have to be creative.
7) An examples of creative destruction was used in the video. What
technology was created? What was destroyed? What was this new
technology? Cell phones were created. As people buy cell phones, they ditch
their home phones. People lose their jobs and their skills are no longer in
8) The founding fathers had learned the lesson of history. The great danger to
freedom is the equality, especially in the hands of government.
9) As Milton Friedman said, The Society that puts equality before freedom will
get neither. The society that puts freedom before quality will end up with a
high degree of both.
I would not approve of the method of fair shares for all method for
student grades. This would not only decrease motivation to do well, but it
would also make it nearly impossible to determine who is a high performing
versus a low performing student. This would have a chain affect as schools
wouldnt be able to offer scholarships and grants to students who deserved it.
As a student we wouldnt be making any money and the scores would be an

arbitrary number, however, if the fair shares for all method was applied to
the economy, there would be a much bigger impact.
The fair shares for all method would be good for and promote
entrepreneurs as the risk of failure is mitigated by the much larger and
successful corporations. However, there would be no incentive for them to
grow into large corporations. This would be bittersweet as it would promote
more manufacturing and development in the United States, but it would
make it increasingly difficult to be a leader or on the cutting edge of
technology. We wouldnt have the resources to keep up with international
As a counter argument, fair shares for all would give equal opportunities to
everyone regardless of how privileged they are and how difficult their
upbringing would be. The type A personalities may still be driven to perform
and be the top of their class since they are usually driven by recognition, but
they wont push themselves as much as they would if they didnt receive
some sort of public or personal recognition.
Reflective Writing
I believe that my time spent investing into this course has also helped
me to develop quantitative literacies for my career. I am currently studying
biotechnology, which is a vastly untapped and huge area of opportunity. I
feel that some of the stories that I have learned about the economic history
of America are relevant and important. Some of the factors of running a
successful business such as input and output, power, resources, labor and
some of the other constraining factors are very important to understand and
ultimately understand the impact that they will have on a business. In our
current day and age, some of those constraints arent as critical as they used
to be, however, in order to understand business and ensure that you do not
repeat the mistakes of the past, we need to study and learn from those that
came before us.
I feel that the time that I have spent reading the textbook, answering
the questions on the quiz, and participating in the discussions has improved
my awareness on the importance of being civically engaged. A lot of the
material that was covered was incredible events in history and it made me
realize that what I do or do not do matters. It is easy to feel so insignificant
and to believe that my vote, or that I make a difference, but that isnt the
I work in the customer service industry and I truly believe that the
company that I work for changes lives. I have seen and heard of the first
hand experiences of those who have been positively impacted, and it has
really developed into a passion. I enjoy serving and assisting others, and I

feel that I have a gift that will allow me to affect other peoples lives. Once
again, I am studying Biotechnology and I would love to work in a genetics
related field and try to answer some of the modern mysteries of life. I believe
that with my skill set that I would be able to fulfill my civic duties to make the
world a better place than when I entered it. After all, isnt that what life is
about? Helping others, being a part of something bigger than yourself, and
making the world a better place for your children? I want to be able to look
back on my life and know that I made a difference and that my actions were
not insignificant.