Essay about Economic Competition: Should we Care about the Losers?

1035 Words Oct 28th, 2013 5 Pages
Economic Competition: Should We Care about the losers? Only if you’re doing it wrong

Jonathan Wolff is the head of philosophy at the University College of London. In one of his pieces titled, Economic Competition: Should We Care About The Losers, he particularly focuses on the economic wellbeing on individuals whom interests may be in danger within economic competition. After discussing several subcategories within economic play, Wolff believes that we have a moral obligation to help those that may be taken advantage of in the commercial world. These potential “losers”, he states, fluctuates between producers and consumers. Within his description, Wolff clarifies that exploitation is a direct consequence of economic competition. “
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He identifies the action as not merely taking advantage of someone, but playing in a way that their actions should be an essential component in the achievement of one’s goals. Therefore, Wolff presents the idea of a “moral safety net” (i.e. social security, bankruptcy laws) that prevents such exploitation to take place (609). However, as much as it is known that exploitation is possible within the market, Wolff only subtly grasps the idea of economic competition.

Although he gives a decent argument about the interests of those who may potentially suffer let us talk about legitimate microeconomics and how they will affect society. In Wolff’s entire argument, he focuses on only one scope of competition, production efficiency. This is where a good is produced at the lowest input cost possible. Obviously this will not maximize social welfare because the ultimate purpose is to eventually surpass the original level of production and maximize profit. Given that the level of production within a business fluctuated to maximize social welfare, a whole new story- one Wolff ignores- is given. Here, marginal benefit is equal to one’s marginal cost and therefore, producers and consumers have come to a win-win situation. Unlike John Wolff, it should also be duly noted that within the producer realm, employees are not exploited. How often is an individual chained to their desk (606)? Within capitalist economics, wages are fairly paid by an employer’s profits. We

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