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Patrick Leishman

ECON-1740 Howell
ePortfolio Assignment
1. If the government gives everybody the same freedom to work and reap the
rewards, some will do better than others. The result will be equality of
opportunity, but not equality of outcome.
2. Immigrants who arrived in the late-1800s/early-1900s found that America
was truly a land of opportunity. Describe the factors these immigrants
encountered which helped them thrive.
America was a harsh country with no government regulation. This led to an
abundance of opportunity as well as fierce competition. Innovation,
enterprise, and hard work were rewarded heartily.
3. Although Hong Kong had no prospects, no natural resources & little land that
could be cultivated, it became an economic powerhouse. How?
The British could not be bothered to regulate the poor colony of Hong Kong,
but the local governor believed firmly in free and open markets. This allowed
Hong Kong to become a power trading hub for the entire world, and its
economy and standard of living reflected this.
4. Free markets have spread around the world. At the same time, weve seen
the fastest human progress ever, and it has been led by the countries that
opened up their economies. In fact, average incomes around the world have
almost doubled. Globally, extreme poverty has been more than halved since
Milton Friedman did his series in 1980. Amazingly, 730 million people have
been liberated from poverty.
5. Explain how the lead pencil & the smart phone are examples of invisible
A pencil, like a smart phone, is a common tool that many people use to
improve their lives. Both of these devices are guided by the invisible hands
of the free market. Where there is a demand, businesses will pop up to meet
that demand. To create greater efficiency, even more businesses will be
created to specialize and create great efficiency and lower costs.
6. Explain the concept of creative destruction as described in the Free or
Equal video.
Creative Destruction is when old technology or livelihoods become obsolete
and are replaced by newer more effective and in demand technologies. This

process is necessary for economic advancements, and requires that

businessmen adapt or fail. It is harsh, but leads to greater opportunity and a
greater standard of living for the whole of society.
7. Explain why are Swedish entrepreneurs the oldest in the world, as described
in the Free or Equal video?
In Sweden, entrepreneurs are so old because the rising generation has no
incentive to produce or innovate. With high tax rates, and a certain
guaranteed standard of living leeching off of previous generations of
innovation, the youth have no desire to take risks and expand. You could say
those desires are even suppressed by current economic policy.

8. They (the Founding Fathers) were a wise and learned group of people. They
had learned the lesson of history. The great danger to freedom is the
concentration of power especially in the hands of a government. They were
determined to protect the citizens of the new United States of America from
that danger. And they crafted their constitution with that in mind.
9. As Milton Friedman said, The society that puts equality before freedom will
end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up
with a great measure of both.
10.Professor Friedman compares the concept of equality of opportunity to a race
where everyone begins at the starting line at the same time. In contrast,
equality of outcome guarantees that everyone finishes at the same time.
Today, equality of outcome is referred to as fair shares for all.
If we applied the fair shares for all concept in this class, all students
would receive an average grade of C. This would be accomplished by taking
points away from students earning As and Bs to give to students earning Ds
and Es. Distributing points equally would result in fair grades for all.
1. Would you approve of this method in calculating your final grade? Why or
why not?
2. Would this differ from fair shares for all economically? Why or why not?
For example, whats the difference between a successful student being
required to give up some of his/her hard-earned grade and a successful
person being expected to give more of his/her hard-earned income? If you
support redistribution of income and wealth, shouldnt you also be willing to
redistribute academic grades? After all, many of your fellow students may not
have had the advantages in education and upbringing that youve had.
3. Address the above questions in your own words, in a minimum of 3

This method of grading is precisely similar to fair share for all

economics. It literally punishes achievement while rewarded mediocrity. I
would be appalled by such a system, and am indeed appalled by the current
direction of my generations political ideology. The rampant support for
Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist, is terrifying. We saw what
socialist systems do to an economy with FDRs new deal. Why would people
want to go back to that?
The people who support redistribution of wealth are generally either a:
bleeding hearts, or b: lazy and entitled. I can sympathize with the bleeding
hearts to a degree. They hate seeing suffering and want to literally save the
world from itself. Unfortunately, people cannot be saved. All you can do is
teach them to save themselves. The lazy and entitled are exemplified in
groups such as occupy wall street and black lives matter. I am not racist
or anti hippy or what have you, but the fundamental values of groups like
these involve them being entitled to something by taking away from
someone else. This is robbery, not equality.
Robin Hood is often celebrated for stealing from the rich to give to the
poor. Ironically, he was stealing from the government, who had overtaxed the
population into poverty. He was literally stealing back from the government
what it had stolen from its citizens. If we are to celebrate modern robin hoods
we should start with those who have successfully avoided taxes, or found
every loophole the IRS has created. Those who support stealing money from
the rich, are those who have never had enough of their money stolen by the
government, which is to say, those who have never been productive enough
in society to make more than $30,000 a year. Its high time for some good
old fashioned natural selection. Let the market run its course, and if you cant
survive it, so be it.
11.Reflective Writing:
Compose 2-3 paragraphs explaining how completing this assignment helped
you achieve at least two of the SLCC Learning Outcomes:
This assignment has helped me in several of the SLCC Learning Outcomes.
Its helped me to think critically and creatively through the analysis of
economic data and formulating an opinion. It has helped me to communicate
those opinions more effectively and succinctly. It has encouraged me to
develop skills and attitudes for lifelong wellness in that I should be involved
politically if I dont want my life to fall apart around me.
This class has been a great experience for me in general. Reading the text
book and taking quizzes can be a bit of a slog, but the data and insight that
raw economics can provide is very interesting. I actually considered switching
my major to economics, but decided Id be to depressed by all the people Id
be surrounded by in such a profession. Im flabbergasted that our
government continually entrenches itself against capitalist free markets in
the name of the common good. Hopefully more people from my generation
investigate our economic history more soundly before promoting the foolish
socialist ideas of our time.