gold team essay POL S 475, Winter 2017

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pick 1 questions out of all the questions!

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Gold Team Essays – Set 1 Due January 23, 2017 POL S 475, Winter 2017 Answer one of the following questions in no more than three pages (reasonable font and margins, 1.5 space margins). Given the page limitations, be pithy. You do not need to solve an entire philosophical debate, but rather you should simply engage a portion of that debate. Examining a single, tight example in light of the question is perfectly fine for this assignment. I am looking for clarity of argument, not breadth of knowledge. Use appropriate citations1 and do not plagiarize. QUESTION 1: USE, PROFIT, OR MEOW? In The Road to Serfdom, Hayek differentiates between "production for use" and "production for profit" (see p. 33). This sets up his discussion of economic planning (which he associates with "production for use"). What is the difference between these two concepts? And why does "production for use" necessarily lead to central economic planning? An odd hint: Would kitty sweatshirts ever appear in a society that values "production for use"? Or... why are totalitarian states always so drab? QUESTION 2: THE EXTERNALITIES OF HAYEK In The Road to Serfdom, Hayek notes that price system may be “ineffective when the damage caused to others by certain uses of property cannot be effectively charged to the owner of that property” (p. 38). Later in the term we will discuss Ronald Coase’s thoughts on this topic (via an article by Terry Anderson). In the meantime, are there market mechanisms for mitigating externalities? Would common law, administrative law, or Pigou taxes be the best means of addressing such problems?2 There are many different citation forms used in academia. Different professors (and fields of study) have their preferences. The best form of citation in your essay is one that is informative and consistent. At some point the reader should be able to trace the author, date, title, and publication source of the material that you used. When doing your academic reading, find a style that you prefer and mimic it. If you will note in this assignment, Prof. Gill is using his favorite style of citation favored generally by the field of political science and economics, though not exclusively. 2 Common law refers to taking a person to court (or other means of arbitration) on a case-by-case basis between two disputants. Administrative law applies a blanket rule to all potential cases of externalities (e.g., require catalytic converters on all automobiles). A Pigou tax is a fine/assessment from a third party (government) based upon a perceived value of damage. The tax is not necessarily used to compensate any party that is damaged, but rather serves as a disincentive to creating the cost in the first place. 1 QUESTION 3: THE RIGHT (DISTRIBUTION OF) STUFF In The Constitution of Liberty, Hayek notes that much of the discussion about the proper redistribution of resources (perhaps via income) rests upon “preconceived pattern of distribution” (p. 150). Given what we know about the knowledge problem (cf. Hayek 1945), how do we best determine this pattern of distribution? Furthermore, to what extent would it be necessary to rely upon coercion to achieve a preferable distribution? You need not answer both questions. Additionally, consider the following excerpts from Hayek:   “No man or group of men possesses the capacity to determine conclusively the potentialities of other human beings” (Hayek 2011, 151). Is this true in theory and/or practice? “… the acquisition by any member of the community of additional capacities to do things which may be valuable must always be regarded as a gain for that community” (Hayek 2011, 151). Is this true? QUESTION 4: MERIT AND VALUE. As human beings, we often have a tendency to complain that “Person X” really doesn’t deserve what they received based upon what they do, and that “Person Y” has a very difficult (unpleasant) job (cf. Hayek 2011, 160, fn. 16), and although they may excel at it, is compensated little. This may vary by the job they do (movie stars like Emma Watson make more than EMTs) and/or within a particular profession (e.g., Adam Sandler is a “horrible actor” but is one of the most highly paid, whereas great artists do not get as much). How do we, as a society, determine merit? To what extent is subjective value an important part of the equation here? How is merit compensated (valued) in a free market system? Is it better to do this in a more centrally planned system so that those who do not deserve merit are not over-compensated or over-valued? QUESTION 5: THE SCOPE OF VOTING Ever since kindergarten, we have been subject to the idea that voting is a great way for groups to decide how to do things. I have seen this embedded in political science students (and many faculty) to the point where voting is often viewed as the best method of making a group choice. But is it? What is the scope of voting? In other words, when is it best to vote on things, wand when is it better to rely upon other means of group decision-making? Feel free to use a few actual examples to illustrate your response. Consider also that Hayek lays out three conditions when democracy (by which he seems to mean voting) seems to be reasonable (or at least the least worst option):   When fighting is the only other option (Hayek 2011, 172). When voting allows citizens to revoke the power of those who are allowed to rule over them. “…since coercive power must in fact always be exercised by a few, it is less likely to  be abused if the power entrusted to a few can always be revoked by those who have to submit to it” (Hayek 2011, 173). As a means of informing and educating a population. In other words, democratic voting encourages people to learn about other preferences and methods of managing those preferences (Hayek 2011, 174). REFERENCES Hayek, F.A. 2011. The Constitution of Liberty. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Hayek, F.A. 1945. “Use of Knowledge in Society.” American Economic Review. 35 (4): 519-30. Hayek, F.A. 1944. The Road to Serfdom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Tutor Answer

School: UCLA


Surname 1
Production for Use or Profit
One of the most distinguishing factors of capitalism and socialism is the reason for
production. While socialist perspectives are inclined toward production for use arrangement,
capitalists believe in production for the maximization of profit. In a free market economy, no
rational individual would go to business without being sure of attaining some reasonable returns
in the end. On the other hand, a socialist economy stresses that the laws of accumulation and
value are no longer the fundamental pivots of economy activities. In his phenomenal book The
Road to Serfdom, Hayek highlights some of the most unbecoming implications of central
planning, in which he discusses the issue of production for use. The control of decision-making
processes in the economy eventually leads to oppression by the government. However, he still
points out that even those who feel that ‘production for profit’ is a befitting replacement for
‘production for use’ must at one point rely on central planning for this substitution to come to
fruition (Hayek 33). Apparently, while ‘production for profit’ seeks to capitalize on the gains
accrued from any economic endeavor, ‘production for use’ holds that the making of goods and
services is aimed at serving the needs of the individual and the society. Since calculation in kind
is the primary model of attaching value to resources and commodities, ‘production for use’
propels the economy toward a centralized planning system to avoid the assumed distortions of
the information about the utility of goods and services which are broug...

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