Population, Class Structure, and Economics: An Interconnected Web

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In Sylvia Nasar’s, Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius, Nasar describes the history of economics from the theories of Dickens and Malthus in the 1800s, to Maynard Keynes and Freidrich Hayek in the early 1900s, and into FDR’s policies and the emergence of China as a world economic power. Ultimately, throughout the history of economics four major principles have been exhibited through a variety of areas including the relationship between economics and class structure, population, and . Dickens idea that the rigid class structure is the reason for economic failure. This exhibits the economic principle that economic Systems Influence Individual Choices and Incentives. During Dickens’ era, many members of the lower classes were growing…show more content…
As Winston Churchill said“… the engine that drives Enterprise is not Thrift, but profit”, when individuals have freedom to purchase and sale as they please, as seen in the economic systems of England and the United States in the early and mid 1900s, wealth is a likely result. This proved to be true in the decades leading up to the great depression as rapid economic growth occurred. This principle was also seen after the fall of the Soviet Union, once people could trade freely there was extreme economic growth. Another economic principle illustrated in the book is that “the consequences of our choices lie in the future”. One way this is shown is through population. Building upon the theories of Dickens, Malthus believed that “nine parts in ten of whole race of mankind” were condemned to lives of abject poverty and grinding toil”, due to population. Increases in population often lead to increasing competition for the world’s scarce resources causing the standard of living to fall as a consequence of individual’s choices. This concept was also addressed in Amartya Sen’s book with Jean Drezé “India: Development and Participation”. Sen describes why nations such as India, Southeast Asia, or those in Sub-Saharan, regardless of GDP growth, still have incredibly low standards of living for many. Due to the large populations and the rigid class structures, the competition for resources is so severe that many are stuck
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