General Education/American Institutions Page

ePortfolio Assignment!

 Free To Choose Questions

After reading Free To Choose, answer the following five (5) questions:

 1. According to the authors, Adam Smith wrote of the three (3) essential roles of government.

What are these three (3) roles?

 What is the fourth role of government that the authors added to Adam Smith’s list?


Role #1 The protection of individuals in society from coercion whether it comes from outside or from fellow citizens.
Role #2 No voluntary exchange that is at all complicated or extends over any considerable period of time can be free from ambiguity.
Role #3 A valid duty of government directed to preserving and strengthening a free society; justify unlimited extensions of government power.
Role #4 The duty to protect members of the community who cannot be regarded as “responsible” individuals.


2. What are the four (4) arguments in favor of tariffs?

Argument #1 The alleged need to protect the high standard of living of American workers from the “unfair” competition of workers in Japan or Korea or Hong Kong who are willing to work for much lower wage.
Argument #2 “Infant Industry” a potential industry which, If one established and assisted during growing pains, could compete an equal terms in the world market.
Argument #3 “beggar-thy-neighbor” A country that is a major producer of a product, or that can join with a small number of other producers that together control a major share of production, may be able to take advantage of its monopoly position by raising the price of the product.
Argument #4 Free trade would be fine if all other countries practiced free trade but that so long as they do not, the United States cannot afford to.


3. To solve the problems of welfare programs, the authors proposed two (2) essential components of reform. What are they?

Component #1 Reform the present welfare system by replacing the ragbag of specific programs with a single comprehensive program of income supplements in cash-a negative income tax linked to the positive income tax.
Component #2 Unwind social security while melting present commitments and gradually requiring people to make their own arrangements for their own retirement.


4. What are the three (3) types of equality discussed by the authors?

Component #1 Equality before God
Component #2 Equality of Opportunity
Component #3 Equality of Outcome


5. The authors wrote that liberty is enhanced when government promotes personal equality or equality of opportunity. Alternatively, when the government promotes “fair shares for all,” liberty is reduced.

Using the “fair shares for all” concept to calculate class grades, all students would receive an average grade (C+). This would be accomplished by taking points away from students earning A’s & B’s to give to students earning D’s & E’s. Distributing points equally would result in “fair grades for all.”


4 Would you approve of this method in calculating your final grade? Why or why not?

I wouldn’t approve of this method to calculate my final grade because it is not “fair grades for all”.  All it really is, is someone working hard to get a really great grade and someone not trying in the class at all and then averaging it out so that everyone no matter what gets the same grade.  Personally if this is what they decided to do, I would never try in school. Why would I? I would get the same grade anyways and I wouldn’t have to put through the effort.

If it ever came up to vote I would never approve of this method no matter what.  Its teaching our kids that we would never have to try for anything because as long as someone does it better than them then they will never have to try.  Our country would have some really dumb doctors.



4 How would this differ from “fair shares for all” economically?

Economically in some cases I think it should be “fair shares for all”.   For example, Men still get paid more than women and sometimes women work harder then men.  Which I don’t think is fair.  They should be treating everybody equally no matter of there skin color, race, and/or sex.  I think we should all have the same consequences of anything as anybody else that lives in this country.  Although they do need to be Legal to get the same rights as others.


Reflective Writing

Compose 2-3 paragraphs explaining how reading Free To Choose helped you achieve at least 2 of the following SLCC Learning Outcomes:

I acquired substantive knowledge from the book for sure.  I can’t remember some of it but that’s also because I had a hard time understanding a lot of it.  It gave me some knowledge that I never even thought of having.  I have never taking any kind of economics class before so it was definitely different then what classes I usually take.

It made me think critically.  I had to put a lot of thought into the book to understand it better.  It made me think of things that I never thought of thinking about before.  I didn’t realize how much things could be different if someone else made the decisions.  The book had a lot of different insights to different programs that we have now that may make sense to change.  I’m not much of a thinker and this book definitely made me have to think.


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