Yolo Essay

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Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), the most important thinker who has ever lived, advanced a body of thought with respect to the development of the components of a market economy. He analyzed the economic processes surrounding him and endeavored to delineate the place of economy within a society that included commercial buying and selling. It follows that Aristotle's economic writings continue to attract the interest of contemporary thinkers. His economic thought (especially his value theory) is insightful but occasionally contradictory and inconsistent. Aristotle's main contributions to economic thinking concerned the exchange of commodities and the use of money in this exchange. People's needs, he said, are moderate, but people's desires are limitless. Hence the production of commodities to satisfy needs was right and natural, whereas the production of goods in an attempt to satisfy unlimited desires was unnatural. Aristotle conceded that when goods are produced to be sold in a market, it can be difficult to determine if this activity is satisfying needs or inordinate desires; but he assumed that if a market exchange is in the form of barter, it is made to satisfy natural needs and no economic gain is intended. Using the medium of money, however, suggests that the objective of the exchange is monetary gain, which Aristotle condemned. Aristotle agreed with Plato and most other Greek thinkers on the necessity of viewing economic activity in a broader context and not compartmentalizing inquiry. One of the interesting points Aristotle made is that the problem of scarcity can be addressed by reducing consumption, by changing human attitudes. This is a powerful idea for the various Utopians and socialists who hope to end societal conflicts by eliminating the conflicts that are inherent in scarcity. HUMAN ACTION IN THE ECONOMY

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