Comparative Politics Notes Part 4 - I got a 4.0 in this course

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University of Massachusetts Amherst
Political Science

Sept 23-25, 2013 Polanyi con’t: Slowing down or speeding up The Market is essential. Any growth is destructive - creating something new always means destroying something old. Putting the Building Blocks Together Economic Development (The Case of the United Kingdom from last week - Sept 18, 13) Stage 2: Destructive Tendencies • Industrial Production •Turns labor into a commodity • Competition for work - becomes destructive and no longer socially bearable Price of labor falls • State Regulation • Speenhamland Scale - The Speenhamland system was a form of outdoor relief intended to mitigate rural poverty in England at the end of the 18th century and during the early 19th century. •Part of the “Poor Laws” • 1st Modern Welfare System - temporary move, not a deliberate move to establish minimum wage •Links wages to the price of bread - price of wages does not drop so that life cannot be sustained •Undermines market Activity • Repeal of the Poor Laws •End of the Welfare System • Created a labor market • Restored market activity after a period of adjustment Timing and Sequencing... • Enclosure Movement ---> Labor Market ---> Growth Vs • Enclosure Movement + Poor Laws + Repeal of the Poor Laws ---> Labor Market ---> Growth ~~~~~~~ Smith is an example of a liberal economist - market is naturally occurring - STATE SHOULD NEVER HAVE AN ECONOMIC ROLE - Smith would not approve of minimum wage North believes state should be regulating the market. STATE Economic Development NATION MARKET The UK in Comparative Perspective • 1st country to emerge as a modern industrial nation-state • Advantages • More time • Limited competition • Disadvantages • No example to follow Better to be FIRST and EARLY - advantages OUTWEIGH disadvantages significantly • Explaining Economic Growth ... So far • Organization of Production • Division of Labor and Specialization • Property Rights • Enforcing Contracts • Regulation • Limiting destructive tendencies Alexander Gerschenkron • Timing Matters • Both the variables of economic development and their interaction change over time • Historical Stages - TIMING is critical for these developments • Early Developers • England - some think that England is the ONLY first/early developer • France Middle Developers • • Germany • United States • Russia Late Developers • • Part 2 of the class Middle Developers Gerschenkron • • Economic Backwardness - “tension between the actual state of economic activity in a country and the existing obstacles to economic development, on the one hand, and the great promise inherent in such a development, on the other” Situation that only exists in regard to the outside world • • If everyone progressed at the same time, there would be NO PRESSURE to “catch up” with other nations. If you just FOLLOW what another country does economically, you will always be behind. There is an intense pressure to DO BETTER. • Key Features • Persistence of serfdom (slavery) - stifles labor market • Scarcity of labor • Need to “cut the umbilical cord” • Factory workers vs peasants • Talks about the PUSH to move peasants OFF the land and into the cities • Factories need the land • Results in Compressed Time Frame - creates serious challenge for industrial development • Must happen faster • Lack of political unification • Shortage of Capital - how much capital is available on hand for industrial development? • Could require tremendous amount of capital just to get industrialism started 1650 1750 1870 1890
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