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The price of Everything - Term Paper Example

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[Author Name] Economic Lessons Learnt From The Price of Everything-A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity. College Name 6/1/2011 Abstract The paper will examine three main economic lessons learnt from the novel The Price of Everything-A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity along with other ideas discussed…
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The price of Everything
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Download file to see previous pages The conclusion of research is that there is an economic order, which exists, run the world markets, and controls it through variation in prices of everything. There is a lesser possibility that one force may control this activity however existence of loose understanding between a group of firms or pressure groups cannot be denied. Keywords : Price, economics, crisis, people, manufacturing, markets, order. The Price of Everything-A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity. Introduction. The Price of Everything-A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity, is a tale of spontaneous, natural, automatic, emergent order and the role prices and markets play in organizing economic activity irrespective of geographical boundaries. The author, Russell Roberts who himself is an economist tells the story of a boy, Ramon Fernandez, a Cuban immigrant tennis player raised in capitalism. The novel is set in the San Francisco Bay area after an earthquake. Ramon, who has since grown into a young man and has become a star tennis player at Stanford, and his girlfriend Amy, a Stanford volleyball player, are trying to buy a flashlight. They visit two large retailers: Home Depot and the fictional Big Box in Hayward. Home Depot is out of flashlights. Big Box, on the other hand, has plenty of flashlights. However, unlike Home Depot, Big Box has announced that they have raised the prices on all of their items because of the earthquake. Is this price gouging? How dare a retailer profit from an emergency and squeeze their customers when they most need the supplies?. This, understandably, has upset many people who think it is unfair that Big Box acted opportunistically by raising its prices, taking advantage of the disaster for personal profit. The other main character in the book is a woman, Professor Ruth Lieber, the provost of Stanford University and Amy's economics teacher. Lieber takes on the role of teacher outside the classroom in order to help Ramon understand the role that markets and prices play in people's lives. In the course of the book, she teaches Ramon to see that prices help coordinate economic activity and they help steer resources to their most-valued use. She also teaches Ramon that much of the economic order we see is of the unplanned variety. At the beginning of the appendix to his new novel, Russell Roberts writes: “This book is my attempt to give the beginner and the expert a better understanding of the role prices play in our lives — how they create harmony between the competing desires of consumers and entrepreneurs, and how they steer resources and knowledge to transform and sustain our standard of living.” The economic lessons that Ruth Lieber tried to pass on to Ramon and Amy The novel discusses at length the role prices play in the life of people. Three most important lessons given in the novel are :- 1. Why raising prices during a crisis (Price gouging) is not a damaging and objectionable matter. 2. How prosperity is created and sustained. 3. Existence of unseen economic order and harmony that shape our daily lives. Price gouging refers to artificially inflated prices on necessities after a disaster, natural or otherwise. Missouri has seen price gouging after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and other severe storms in the state. In Missouri-USA, it is against law to take advantage of a desperate situation by drastically increasing prices on merchandise, whether it's gasoline, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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