Lecture 5 July 23 2013
Economics and Culture II
Subsistence, wealth, and the provisioning of society
Economic Systems-built upon adaptive strategies (studied in lecture 4)
Economics ethology is eco-nomes house law, laws of the house, called home
management, and when applied to larger societies refers to provisions of societies.
1. Production- making stuff, how are good and services made, anything that is
made require these three components below.
a. Resources-things provided by the earth, natural things, subsistence
resource can be water, air, or food.All of this stuff has an earth bound
existence, comes from land. Energy resources- fire, peat, dung, comes
from the land.And then building materials- common things like wood,
metal, stone, comes from land.
Resources have to be transformed in order to be used, ex: we can’t
just use iron ore, it has to be melted. Water has to be clean, purified,
trees have to be cut, chopped in order to be used for lumber. All this
requires technology, requires tools.
i. Subsistence / energy / building materials
ii.Primacy of land
b. Technology-requires tools and knowledge and skills, you have to
know how to use the tools. Classical Greek word for technology is
related to concept of art and craft.
Once you have land and technologies you need human labour,
c. Labour-transforming those resources, need human labor, labor will
consist of specific activities- cutting wood, working on something.
How they are organized into a larger whole refers to division of
labour- very important to economics, how work in society is
organized. Ex: ppl could be hunting-gathering but what’s the division
of labor?Are they working alone or are they selling.
ii.Division of labour
Division of labor means- in the 18 century, economics was part of a larger
discipline of a larger economy, everything use to be combined, politics
combined with eco. One of the major figures- Adam Smith, who wrote the
wealth of nations, in his book he examined what constituted the wealth, why
were some countries wealthy and some leaving in poverty? Modern
discipline of economic. His discussion of the division of labour is valid. Lecture 5 July 23 2013
Britain was wealthier because they had division of labor. Metal pin
manufacture, how do u manufacture a pin, what was done. He was in a pin
factory. He came up with 10 workers working for 1 hour is more productive,
than 1 person working for 10 hours. So what smith said it’s the same amount
of labor in pin manufacturing they were 240-4800 times better, that’s how
many pins they make.
Smith said in some one of one men shop, it took a man a whole day to make
one pin, while other shops are making 4800 pins in one day.
Subsistence for ones one needs, and commodities for sale in open markets.
2. Distribution- who gets the product?
a. Ownership- who gets to use that, for what frame of time period?
Usufruct- refers to existence of ownership/access rights. Concept of
ownership is foreign to the hunter-gatherers. They have to ask ppl if
they can hunt in their territory. Concept