Skip to comments.Writing an essay on Buyer's Ethics, need help
Posted on 03/31/2009 1:10:43 PM PDT by Kinzkey
I've have been assigned by my college English teacher to write a 4 page essay on the Ethics of Buying, following MLA standards. I know this is something really dumb and already rigged, but I would like to know how to approach writing such a thing, keep it conservative, and still not royally tick off my liberal English teacher. Any sources that could be recommended would be appreciated as well.
Does it have anything to do with the anarchist/communist/socialist slogan...
“All Property Is Theft.” - a slogan coined by French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in his 1840 book What is Property? Or, an Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government
Karl Marx, although initially favourable to Proudhon’s work, later criticised, among other things, the expression “property is theft” as self-refuting and unnecessarily confusing, writing that “since theft as a forcible violation of property presupposes the existence of property” and condemning Proudhon for entangling himself in “all sorts of fantasies, obscure even to himself, about true bourgeois property.”
I'd imagine an outfit such as the Ayn Rand Institute would be a good resource for this sort of thing.
No, it's not a dumb exercise.
My advice to you: figure out the point you want to make, then write up an outline of your argument in favor of that point. Just make sure that you provide a reasoned, well-justified argument.
When you figure out the point you want to make in your paper, come back here and let us know.
Anyways, welcome to Free Republic. Make sure to leave a tip, and stay away from famished Viking kittens.
The use of coercion, from an academic ethical perspective, implies that an individual is being used as merely a means to an end, which is a big philosophical no-no, as it denies that individual's dignity, worth, and capability of moral thought.
Or, at least, that's one thing I learned in school. Personally, I prefer writing mathematical proofs.
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
* The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
* The fifth would pay $1.
* The sixth would pay $3.
* The seventh would pay $7.
* The eighth would pay $12.
* The ninth would pay $18.
* The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.
“Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.”
Drinks for the ten now cost just $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share’?
They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
* The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
* The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
* The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
* The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
* The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
* The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
“I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $10!”
“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!”
“That’s true!!”, shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”
“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
Um, use the delayed thesis technique and fairly put out both sides, in equal measure. Do NOT use a strong essay thesis statement like “Socialism is wrong and being used to Nationalize banks” That will get you smacked down. But do still use X is Y because of A B C .
I fail to see what any of this has to do with an English exercise.
Interesting first post :)
Normally, I’m very suspicious of people who sign up just to ask for free research help, but you are in luck. I’m waiting for a computer program to run.
One of the moral teachings of Judaism is that it is wrong to ask for the price of something that one has no intention of buying.
It’s a good moral teaching. You could include that.
What are MLA standards?
If the OP is writing an essay on ethics, then obviously the subject material, in this case, ethics, would seem to be relevant.
MLA = Modern Language Association
One of several academic standards for citation of references, document formatting, writing style, etc.
My essay is going to be about sweatshop labor and how I consider it to be a good thing, while my teacher thinks it is a horrible thing.
Yeah, that's what my parents thought, too. So, would a good thesis statement be something like: "I think that sweatshop labor, while it has some drawbacks, can be used to change a poorer nation into a wealthy one."
Saying it's good is too vague. Why is it good? You could argue that it promotes economic efficiency. You could also argue that it's "bad" because it requires the use of coercion and deception...and the treatment of individuals as mere means to an end.
Look into shareholder and stakeholder theory of business. You should be able to formulate a decent argument using the ideas from either or both, though I will warn you, the stakeholder theory sounds quite nice but is a backdoor to Socialism and Communism. If you need to argue ethical theories, look into Kantian ethics (the prevailing and accepted theory in academia), utilitarianism, and possibly egoism, but make sure to understand the difference between a descriptive (that's the way things work) claim and a normative (that's the way things should work) claim.
If the people in other countries did not need the income, they wouldn’t do the work for those wages.
And there are sweatshops in America.
The founder of American Apparel (a Canadian immigrant) makes a big stink about how his product is made in America but he likes importing cheap foreign labor (and has pushed to naturalize illegal immigrants).
I hear about fair trade coffee. And boycott sweatshops. And champion undocumented immigrant labor working below established wages.
Why don’t I ever hear about fair trade R&D in tech industry? Degreed tech jobs have been offshored to India for cheap wages and the product smuggled back into this nation (without import duty) through the internet (millions of dollars in software effort).
I guess it all depends on which demographic you belong to. White collar workers are just supposed to accept a “changing” marketplace.
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