In Reply to: Re: Neoclassical Theory posted by cara on October 15, 2001 at 10:18:15:
Cara, I think you can explain your success just as easily with marxian theory. I think the difference is that in marxian theory there is the idea of exploitation and in the neoclassical theory there is no exploitation. In the marxian theory if your mother worked for a fast food place then it is assumed that she is being cheated because the fast food place is capitalist. I think if she was working for herself then it is assumed that she is not being cheated. But in the neoclassical theory it doesn't matter where she works. She is never cheated. In the marxian theory people can work really hard and not succeed because they are being cheated. Other people can be lazy bums and succeed because they live off other people's labor, like Bill Gates. Does that make sense?
: In the interest of keeping our minds open and learning through controversy, I'm going to play a little devil's advocate here. While I believe that in many cases, some people who are poor don't have a choice and are not happy, I don't completely agree with our consensus around these issues.
: First: We're defining happiness in terms of materialism. I think that to some degree, people have the power to make their own happiness. If you have a positive outlook and spend your life with those who you love, how can you not be happy. In other words, i should hope that if i get down on my luck one day, and don't have a lot of money, that i can still find a way to be happy.
: Second: I should also hope that we aren't all locked into our circumstances and socialisation. My mother, for example, grew up in a very poor single-parent household with five children. she did not graduate from high school. while raising my sister and i as a single parent herself, she has worked extremely hard to work her way up, keep our family afloat, and increase her salary. i don't want to devalue the notion of hard work and sacrifice as it fits into neoclassical theory in this instance, because without it, i certainly wouldn't be studying at this school right now.
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