Bible Project 1

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1. The difference between self-interest and selfishness could perhaps be best described as the difference between a desire to be monetarily successful and voracious greed for every last penny. Self-interest is when someone wants more for themselves, regardless of what it is they desire. A person could want more money, a bigger television, faster computers, or just better health with six pack abs. Selfishness is much more like when someone is willing to do anything, including hurt others, to get what they want. The difference is subtle, but it is there. Now, in terms of a competitive market economy, selfishness will lead to eventual collapse, while self-interest could potentially increase the general good, even if inadvertently. Selfishness is corrupting and businesses that are so will seek to draw as much profit out of their employees and customers as is possible, heedless of economic survival.

2. In my reading so far, I do believe the text will discuss normative economics. On page 178, the text has a section discussing unemployment. This set-aside section discusses the problem of unemployment, and the question of whether or not unemployment would exist at all if the market were functioning perfectly. This theory is completely untestable as the market will never function perfectly, and/or unemployment will never cease to exist to test whether the market is functioning perfectly at the time.

3. Adam Smith believes that people at heart desire others to approve of them, so their selfish attributes are restrained just enough that people don’t think less of them for it.

4. In keeping with God’s plan, a person can take part of the democratic capitalistic society, but without becoming corrupted by it. A person keeping true to faith and prayer will be more capable of sympathy, of doing more for the good will, and of creating an abundance of good will (worth far more than its weight in gold). Keeping God in one’s heart will keep selfishness out....
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