Week 3 - Entrepreneurship, Markets, and Morality
Day 1 - Getting Started
- How would you respond to someone who claimed that capitalism feeds greed and contributes to a culture that even “extols” greed?
- Capitalism creates a free market, how people choose to approach the market is their own personal decision.
- How would you respond to someone who believes that individuals who earn high incomes and have become incredibly rich (like Sam Walton or Bill Gates) must be exploiting others?
- They are earning that money through trades others are willing making.
Day 2 - Understanding Profits and Losses
Profit, Loss, and Helping Others
- 1. Fill in the blanks below:
- When considering what constitutes a profit, an economist considers not only the net income calculation as an accountant would, but the economist also considers the facts of the assets owned by the firm.
- 2. What must a firm do to earn profits?
- generate revenue from the sale of the product
- 3. CSE suggests that “even though business failures are often painful for the investors and employees involved, there is a positive side.” What is the positive side of failure?
- They release resources that can be directed towards death creating projects
- 4. What is the reward-penalty structure of a market economy?
- Those who produce efficiently and anticipate correctly will prosper, while those who allocate inefficient resources lose.
- 5. In a market economy, how can people earn high incomes?
- They provide others with things they value more than they cost.
- 6. What gives us a strong incentive to acquire skills, develop talents, and cultivate habits that will enable us to provide others with valuable goods and services?
- Ability to help others and earn income.
- 7. What are the two positive lessons suggested by the Greek and Hebrew words translated “profit”?
- Profit by hard work is admirable, and it also a gift from God.
- 8. What are the two warnings suggested by the Greek and Hebrew words translated “profit”?
- Profiting from the distress of the poor is wrong, and it does not indicate godliness
- 9. Because the Bible conveys a realistic sense of human nature “economic truths known by free-market economists resonate with the biblical view of the world” and give rise to the following ideas regarding biblical realism. Finish each statement:
- Biblical realism opposes communists and socialists Biblical realism suggests that people bury there talents without a opportunity for profit Biblical realism helps us to see few among us are likely to love our neighbors as ourselves on a regular basis
Prophets and Profit by Marvin Olasky
Day 3 - Differentiating Self-Interest from Greed
Mandeville, Rand, and False Moral Pretenses
- 10. Mandeville's Poem, "The Fable of the Bees," describes humans as little more than bundles of vicious passions all sharing one common motivation. What is that “one common motivation”?
- 11. Mandeville's poem, a metaphor for English society, suggests that great wealth is produced by three characteristics. What are they?
- avarice, pride, vanity
- 12. What is the point of Mandeville's poem—what is he saying regarding an individual's motives and the outcomes of those motives?
- Good intentions don't always yield good results
- 13. While it seems obvious that good intentions don't always yield good results, what is the dark side of that same truth?
- Bad intentions don't always yield bad results
- 14. Who is a “patron saint of free marketers,” what is the name of his most famous book, and why did he write it?
- An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations He wanted
- 15. During his reading of Atlas Shrugged, what did Richards come to realize about collectivism, entrepreneurs, and capitalism?
- Collectivism is a false moral pretense. The importance of entrepreneurs is creating wealth. No capitalism without capitalists
- 16. What did Richards conclude about Rand and her view of self-sacrifice?
- She viewed it as weakness
Day 4 - Fitting the Human Condition
Capitalism, Socialism and the Human Heart
- 17. Regarding the motives of merchants and others, Adam Smith was a realist. How does Richards describe Smith’s view of man?
- As someone who knew the difference between self-interest and selfishness
- 18. How is “proper self-interest” the basis for the Golden Rule?
- Take care of yourself then treat others the same
- 19. Why isn’t self-interest just looking out for number one at everyone else's expense?
- We are social people, so out best interests include family and friends.
- 20. Why do we need a social order that channels selfishness and self-interest?
- So people don't get taken advantage of
- 21. How would you respond to someone who claims that free enterprise feeds greed and contributes to a culture that even “extols” greed?
- Free enterprise doesn't feed greed, yet the nature of man
Day 5 - Encouraging Enterprise
Gift-Givers and Kitty Litter
- 22. When it comes to money, what is the recurring biblical warning?
- To not store up and hold on to material things.
- 23. How does capitalism discourage miserliness and encourage enterprise?
- Use money to make money, not hoard.
- 24. How is the investment of an entrepreneur an act of trust?
- Have to trust what you are investing in will in return make you profit.
- 25. What is at the base of a capitalist system?
- Providing first and getting later.
- 26. List at least five of the required virtues an entrepreneur must have and exercise to succeed in a free market economy.
- Set aside, risk, faith, anticipate, disciplined choices, freely discover,
- 27. If you look around the room in which you are now sitting, you should see scores of objects which are a result of entrepreneurial imagination. What does Richards call these "concrete forms of entrepreneurial imagination”?
Day 6 - Critical Thinking Assignment
Discerning the Honey from the Hemlock
- Type essay below:
- Ayn Rand's influence is everywhere. Her book Atlas Shrugged has sold over 30 million copies and is commonly the most infulencial book outside of the Bible. Her vision of "man being a heroic being" appeals to almost everyone. There is many famous people, some who serve in the US government, who are strong followers of Rand and her ideas. With a lot of her work being taught in schools, the extent of her influence is very vast. One of her convictions obtained to metaphysics, or objective reality. Her writings included statements such as "A is A", as she taught we should strive "to perceive reality, not to create or invent it.” Some of the good things from this is that there is no way to rightly differ from God and his word, a human thoughts and ideas away from God is wrong. Yet her belief of no mystical things or religions would keep up from the one true God. Another of her convictions was in self interest. This view of every man must live for his own self and pursue his own desires seems good to everyone. Everyone in their own sin already lives for themself, but this is not what God created us for. And lastly her conviction of capitalism. As an objectivist shr agrees with the traders view that all should give value for value, and not for looters and others to forcefully take from others in any way. Her only belief for the government is to stop those who wish to take and protect those of honest trade. This is good as a capitalist society is one of which God has created for us. Laziness should never be rewarded. Ayn had a very straightforward and direct view of life. A lot of her beliefs somewhat line up with scripture, yet she missed putting God first in everything. Her views are very man centered and make it seem as if every man can be their own God. It is very appealing to all, as we all love to be in control. As you look at the end of her life though, you can see that even one of the most objectivist people ever cannot live for themselves throughout their whole life. God is always in control.
Check Your Premises - Ayn Rand Through a Biblical Lens