Contrast John Stuart Mill economic philosophy with that of Adam Smith. What sort of economic system did each believe would best benefit society and how should it be achieved?
Adam Smith Believed in the invisible hand (market forces) Free competition ensures that economic exchanges are mutually beneficial Self-interests are good because they motivate people to cooperate Self interests benefit the individual and society because someone earning money by his own labor benefits himself. Unknowingly, he also benefits society, because to earn income on his labor in a competitive market, he must produce something others value. Wants limited Government involvement as Smith believe that political efforts to improve markets eventually lead to follies Smith listed three reasons for government involvement: 1) To protect society from violence and invasion, 2) To provide justice to society and prevent injustice or oppression, and 3) The duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and certain public institutions, which it can never be for the interest of any individual to erect and maintain Additionally, Smith believed that the government should enforce contracts and grant patents and copyrights to encourage inventions and new ideas Smith assumed no one is self-sufficient that people depended on others to meet their needs and so he advocated the divisions of labor. He used the story of straight pin makers to describe his point. Free market capitalist system John Stuart Mill Wanted a Stationary State of Capital Growth meaning an economy that did not have to grow constantly, maintained a certain level of capital and growth, and prevented excessive abundance of money. To achieve a stationary state Mill’s noted four things: 1) Government needed to redistribute the wealth, 2) limit population growth as to prevent constant economic growth, 3) preserve and enjoy nature, and 4) advance manufacturing so that that they can lower working hours in order for people to enjoy the greater things in life like nature Mill did not think of contract and property rights as being part of freedom Thought that workers and foreman should have equal share in say and fair compensation for workers in the factory Found the division of labor (including the increasing simplicity and repetitiveness of the work) and the growing size of factories and businesses—led to a spiritual and moral deadening. Mill’s so more than profit but the impact of institutions and had moral concerns over the free market Mill favored inheritance taxation, trade protectionism, and regulation of employees’ hours of work More a socialist system then capitalist
In detail, explain the differences between prejudice and discrimination (if there are any) and their social interaction.
Prejudice and discrimination do not necessarily coincide with one another. Prejudice is negative attitudes, beliefs, and thoughts not actions toward an entire category of people. Prejudice is often expressed through ethnic slurs and expressing dislike for an entire group of people not simply an individual or two because he or she’s behavior is objectionable. However, there can also be positive prejudices (e.g. believing what your husband or wife is telling you over a complete stranger). Prejudice is to pre-judge someone either positively or negatively. People will often have a prejudice for their children, family members, or friends over acquaintances or strangers. More negative prejudices would be assuming that all women are bad drivers therefore believing no woman should be allowed to drive. Of course, this negative prejudice is simply a belief not that person actually acting on that belief. Discrimination is the physical denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups because of prejudice or for other arbitrary reasons. Unlike prejudice behavior discrimination is an action not simply a belief. It is behavior, physical, or literal acting on ones beliefs to stop or exclude a person or persons of a certain race, ethnicity, age, etc from partaking in privileges, opportunities, or rights given to the majority. Now that the definitions of discrimination and prejudice have been explained I am going to use sociologist Robert Merton’s typology to identify and explain the different combinations of prejudice and discrimination. Merton describes four categories that a person can be placed in: the unprejudiced non-discriminator or all-weathered liberal, the unprejudiced discriminator or reluctant liberal, the prejudiced non-discriminator or timid bigot, and the prejudiced discriminator or all-weather bigot. Type one, the all-weathered is neither prejudiced nor discriminates against others. He or she believes in equality and practices it. Just like discriminators practice hate; non-discriminators practice love and equality amongst other races, sexes, etc. They also believe in their cause. So, for example, if someone believes in helping poor minority families and acts on it they are all-weathered liberals. Type two, the reluctant liberal is not prejudice but will discriminate for various reasons. He or she may hold the belief of equality but they do not believe in it enough to act on it. They are more likely to discriminate so they can keep their job, fit in, or simply keep themselves or their family from being harmed. Depending on the situation (e.g. office or neighborhood) the discrimination will vary. A man whose boss dislikes women will likely be discriminatory towards woman in office to ensure his job or place at work. Another example would be police officers simply doing their “job” attacking blacks as they did in the sixties to prevent them from sit-ins and guarantee segregation. Type three, the timid bigot is definitely prejudice against minorities but may not act on his or her beliefs for fear of breaking the law, losing business, or some other legal or societal pressure. They harbor hate without ever acting on it. I would assume that type three people are more likely to become all-weather bigots should economic, specifically, but also cultural forces become intensified due to an economic crisis or some other factor resulting in job losses, growing wealth disparity, apparent or what appears to them to be losses of freedoms, and other negative effects. I would also note that, wealth disparity for example, could cause higher tensions amongst traditional “minorities” and “majorities” against increasingly more powerful and richer people. Type four, the all-weathered bigot is a flat-out traditional KKK racist. He or she hates people “not of their kind” including their “own kind” who do not think like they do. They then act on their hate blowing up black churches, burning crosses, and even murdering minorities. They unhesitatingly act on their prejudice beliefs.
How has the Supreme Court dealt with the issue of the death penalty? Focus on the history of the cases that have gone before the Court and explain their decisions.
During Colonial America times all thirteen states allowed the death penalty. In 1846, Michigan became the first state to abolish the death penalty for all crimes except treason. By mid-twentieth century capital punishment had become seriously questioned by state governments and their citizens. In 1967 until 1972 no person was executed at all. Furman v. Georgia (1972) Facts: Landmark ruling invalidating capital punishment laws as then administered Question before the Court: Does the imposition and carrying out of the death penalty in these cases constitute cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments? Ruling: 5-4 was yes it does constitute as cruel and unusual punishment. Only Justices Brennan and Marshall believed the death penalty to be unconstitutional in all instances. Other concurrences focused on the arbitrary nature with which death sentences have been imposed, often indicating a racial bias against black defendants. The Court's decision forced states and the national legislature to rethink their statutes for capital offenses to assure that the death penalty would not be administered in a capricious or discriminatory manner. Responses that followed the Furman decision by states to meet Furman’s death penalty standards eventually resulted in five major death penalty cases known as the FIVE of 1976: Roberts v. Louisiana, Gregg v. Georgia, Jurek v. Texas, Proffitt v. Florida, and Woodson v. North Carolina. Two will be covered here: Woodson v. North Carolina (1976) Facts of case: The state of North Carolina enacted legislation that made the death penalty mandatory for all convicted first-degree murderers. Consequently, when James Woodson was found guilty of such an offense, he was automatically sentenced to death. Woodson challenged the law, which was upheld by the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Question: Did the mandatory death penalty law violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments? Ruling 5-4 declaring mandatory capital-punishment legislation unconstitutional Gregg v. Georgia (1976) Facts of case: A jury found Gregg guilty of armed robbery and murder and sentenced him to death. On appeal, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the death sentence except as to its imposition for the robbery conviction. Gregg challenged his remaining death sentence for murder, claiming that his capital sentence was a "cruel and unusual" punishment that violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Question: Is the imposition of the death sentence prohibited under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments as "cruel and unusual" punishment? Ruling: No. In a 7-to-2 decision, the Court held that a punishment of death did not violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments under all circumstances. In extreme criminal cases, such as when a defendant has been convicted of deliberately killing another, the careful and judicious use of the death penalty may be appropriate if carefully employed. Georgia's death penalty statute assures the judicious and careful use of the death penalty by requiring a bifurcated proceeding where the trial and sentencing are conducted separately, specific jury findings as to the severity of the crime and the nature of the defendant, and a comparison of each capital sentence's circumstances with other similar cases. Moreover, the Court was not prepared to overrule the Georgia legislature's finding that capital punishment serves as a useful deterrent to future capital crimes and an appropriate means of social retribution against its most serious offenders. Since 1976 many important issues have been addressed concerning capital punishment. Two worth noting are: Atkins v. Virginia (2002) – Is the execution of mentally retarded persons "cruel and unusual punishment" prohibited by the Eighth Amendment? Yes, in a 6-3 decision, the Court held that executions of mentally retarded criminals are "cruel and unusual punishments" prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Ropper v. Simmons (2005) – Does the execution of minors violate the prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishment" found in the Eighth Amendment and applied to the states through the incorporation doctrine of the 14th Amendment? Yes. In a 5-4 opinion delivered by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court ruled that standards of decency have evolved so that executing minors is "cruel and unusual punishment" prohibited by the Eighth Amendment.