Monday, September 10, 2012

Topic 1: The Big Questions

  Michael Parkin, the author of our textbook, asserts that there are two big questions in economics. The first is “How do choices end up determining whathow, and for whom goods and services get produced?” If you think about PAS as an economy, and everyone at PAS as both a producer and consumer, what is the “what”? In other words, what goods and services are produced? Who produces those goods and services? How are those goods and services produced? For whom are those goods and services produced? Who makes the choices governing whathow, and for whom goods and services get produced?
  The second big questions is “When do choices made in the pursuit of self-interest also promote the social interest?” In your opinion, in what way to the choices made at PAS about what, how, and for whom reflect different people’s self-interest? In what way, if any, do they reflect the social interest?

  • The goods and services produced in the PAS economy are educated persons. In other words, us, the PAS students. How are these goods and services produced? The answer is through our teachers. Our teachers are the ones who educate us, and therefore, the ones who "manufacture" us. For whom are these goods and services produced? This question has two answers, one specific, one broad. The specific answer is our parents. Our parents are the one who "ordered" for educated children, or products. On the broader scale, we are the goods and services that will eventually be let out onto the "market" of educated, high human capital labor. The person who makes the choices governing these questions is of course our Head of School, Mrs. Pamela.
  • When PAS make choices such as creating a student council, it is reflecting people's self-interests because having a student council will help the students voice their opinions. Also, the student council plans events that people want, which is self-interest. When PAS create rules such as the late policy, social interest is reflected because this is for the good of the society in general: the school wants to drill the concept of being on time into people's minds.

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