Basic Economic Concepts Assignment



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Basic Economic Concepts Assignment
This assignment is designed to give students a foundation in economics and in the theory of capitalist economic thought.
Read “The Wonderful World of Adam Smith,” chapter 3 in Robert L. Heilbroner, ed., The Worldly Philosophers, rev. 7th ed. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999).
Write a well-organized essay that explains the major concepts used by Adam Smith to describe how a market economy works. Critique this view as it applies to the economy of today.
Grading Checklist


  1. Due on August 14

  2. Typed, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font

  3. Fulfills all factors described in the assignment

Scoring Guidelines


Reading “The Wonderful World of Adam Smith” should have prepared you to critique the economic system in the United States as it operates today as compared to Smith’s ideal. You should have noted five major points about Adam Smith’s understanding of how the economy works:


  1. Self-interest drives the economy.




  1. Competition will prevent greed from spiraling out of control.




  1. Supply and demand, through the invisible hand, will determine what is produced, for whom, and how.




  1. Monopoly is the nemesis of the market economy.




  1. There is no need for much government interference.

Students will earn a 5 (90–95) if their essay:




  1. Describes in clear detail Smith’s five major points, using an application to today’s world to critique his vision.




  1. Accurately explains the law of accumulation and the law of population with a clear understanding that these were not the main ideas of the essay, nor were they the most important of his writings.




  1. Is written clearly, has no spelling or grammatical errors, and leaves the reader with a sense that the writer truly understands the major points of the essay.

Students will earn a 4 (80–85) if their essay:




  1. Correctly describes the five major points and considers these points as a comparison to the world today.




  1. Discusses the law of accumulation and the law of population and explains them clearly.




  1. Is written carefully with no significant grammatical or spelling errors.

Students will earn a 3 (70–75) if their essay:




  1. Mentions clearly and accurately most of the major points of Adam Smith’s understanding of how the market works.




  1. Demonstrates an understanding of the law of accumulation and the law of population.




  1. Is written carefully with few grammatical or spelling errors.

Students will earn a 2 (60–65) if their essay:




  1. Is inconsistent but does mention at least the importance of the invisible hand, the driving force of self-interest, and the need for competition.




  1. Mentions the law of accumulation and the law of population.




  1. Is readable.



Students will rewrite any essays that do not meet the minimum criteria of a score of 1, and they should seriously reconsider their decision to take this course. The maximum score for a rewritten essay is 55.


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