Sunday, July 16, 2006

Six in the Morning Roll-Call.

Canadian Asian Student: check.

For the first time, I caught the 6:05am bus to school so that I can start to prepare for my exam on the comparing and contrasting the ideologies of Barr (liberal), Lal (libertarian), and Mkandawire (democratic socialist) to economic and social policies... and there I was part of the "working man's" bus. I'm one of the first one the bus so trickle in the city workers one by one with their own agendas and characteristics. The sun hasn't even risen, yet the day has started for many on the bus. While I pretended to snooze off, I watch the two in front of me speaking through sign language rapidly moving their hands in conversation. crazy.

Most of the weekend I spent catching up on readings and notes that I have neglected from the week. This class has really tried to closely ask what you really believe in and what is right for a country in terms of social and economic policy. For example libertarians like Hayek, Lal, the World Bank and Friedman would say that the market is the most efficient method to growth and social safety nets are residual and left only for those who are unable to fend for themselves (those in absolute poverty). Liberals such as Barr would see social policy as an efficiency because it attempts to correct those market failures that exist. For example, he states that people are poor because the market does not provide full information, it is in imperfect competition and the government is necessary to provide the fair environment (through regulation and distribution) equality and social justice. And there is Mkandawire who I have decided is a democratic socialist who believes social policy is embedded in economic policy and you cannot leave one without the other. Social policy must be included in macro decisions as it sees the bias in economic policy: deflationary (aims for stability but not necessarily high growth or investment), and the "male breadwinner" mentality (that one household member will be able to fund and provide all needs in the family, while other member, unpaid, cares for the home). Social policy is necessary to create a community of citizens who are productive, cohesive health members of society. Is this enough information for a two hour essay?

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