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Definition of Topic: Economics is the study of supply and demand. It defines the ways that human beings allocate resources and how resources are distributed amongst a market. It allows you to see trends in current market places and predict what may happen in the future. Many different subjects were once regarded as a part of economics. Political science and even sociology were once considered part of the field. These subjects still play a major role in understanding economics but are also completely separate disciplines today.

History: Since ancient times, humans have contemplated basic economic problems. Many great minds have tried to master the subject. Aristotle and Plato were probably the first to document such studies. Both agreed that living by trade was ill fated. Influenced by Greek economic ideals the Romans built their wealth. After the fall of Rome, the Catholic Church would become the power behind most economic laws. They would condemn usury and regarded commerce as inferior to agriculture.

It wasn’t until 1776 that economics became a study of its own. Adam Smith is considered the father of economics. Through his work Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, he used mercantilism and physiocracy to develop classical economics. Smith emphasized consumption, rather than production to broaden the scope of economics. Modern thought still follows his examples for permitting self-interest in order to promote national prosperity. This is most evident when looking at today’s smaller business market.

Twenty years later, Malthus would write a discouraging, but very influential book, An Essay on the Principle of Population. Malthus believed that the human race would eventually be doomed by overpopulation. His theory was that food would increase in arithmetic ratio but population would double every generation. This theory is faulty because it does not account for disease, famine, war, etc. Malthus’ view of supply and demand left a permanent impression on generations to come. It would hence be know as “the dismal science.”

Next to revolutionize economics would be the Communist Manifesto in 1848. Karl Marx had the classical vision of capitalism, Marxism was in large measure a sharp rebuttal, but to some extent it embodied variations of classical themes. For Marx, the labor theory was a clue to the inner work...

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...oss the country at many prestigious universities for economics professors. As an economics major, graduates could work for the National Institute of Health as an Operations Research Analyst, as an accountant (anywhere), or in almost any research or marketing opening. The Centers for Disease Control even require economists; they currently have positions open for post-doctorate fellowships. These are just a sampling of the job opportunities in the field and related fields of economics. With very little research, anyone interested in economics could find a plethora of interesting and challenging careers pursuable within the realm of economics.

Works Cited

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright © 1994, 2000, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. searched (economics)

Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2002. © 1993-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Understanding Business. Nickels, William G. McHugh, James M. McHugh, Susan M. Copyright 2002 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York.

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