N. Carmona – Week Five – Systems of Exchange

There are so many different forms of exchange that are found. I am going to use the United States of America as an example. If someone goes to a restaurant and orders their favorite food, they will end up paying with a credit card, or if your you buy something online like perfume they can also pay with pay pal. This becomes an exchange. From the lecture ( lecture 5.2, slide 9) about market exchange which is an exchange of goods as services for money at prices determined by supply and demand. When December hits in the U.S, people do a lot of shopping before Christmas. At this time of the year people do a lot of gift giving like to their parents, kids and grandparents and many others. In lecture ( lecture 5.2, slide 4) point made about reciprocity meaning exchange of good and services. Just like the example I used about Christmas being a big part about gift giving.

The video “To the light: Chinese miners” it made me sad because of their work condition and how little they get payed when they die. One of the family’s shown was about a dad that was working in the mine and got hit on the back and got paralyzed. The one taking care of him is his wife. He was working in the mine so that his youngest son won’t be adopted and that the oldest son got a chance to go to school but he had to leave to get work in a factor and help the parents. So many miners die each year around 20,000 just to produce energy. They’re risking their lives for the family to help pay for cost and for food and shelter. Just so that people are able to enjoy the luxury in other places in china not thinking about what work was done to get it to you. In lecture (lecture 5.1, slide 11) explained about Division of labor “that rules govern the assignment of jobs to people and for determining the unit of production.” For example the parents wanting a better life for there kids not wanting them to suffer in mining, so the parents do their best to help pay for their education if they can and don’t get hurt in the process. So Division of labor is setting yourself apart like getting an education with a degree and able to get a good paying job to live a good and happy life.

The United States of America does so much to help its people. In lecture (lecture 5.1, slide 9), the point about allocation of resources meaning that the rules people use to assign rights to ownership and access. An example, would be the U.S and how the water is freely shared and having equal access. This is able to happen because it’s an available resource and the labor is used to create something we want. Also lecture 5.1, slide 10) about technology and that people think about phones or computers but it’s more than just that. One of the examples used was that mining go in and extract raw materials and that others are against mining because it ruins the environment and its better to leave it how it is.

One thought on “N. Carmona – Week Five – Systems of Exchange

  1. I like that you referenced the slides from which you got your information and how you started with giving an everyday example before delving into a broader discussion of the systems of exchange. Your second paragraph brings up the poignant point that the relative comforts of the first world comes via the distress, exploitation, and stifling of second and third world countries. Your last paragraph brings up a comfort many of us take for granted: reliable, clean water(although this claim has notably been challenged by lead contamination in Flint and cities across the US). And this brings me to the point that could have made your post exceptional: the discussion of power as it relates to systems of exchange. The video on Chinese miners does not just bring up an unfortunate series of events and conditions but results from power imbalances and a system that will put humans’ lives and the environment at risk for the sake of energy and industrialism. Systems of exchange reflect more so a society’s cultural values and social organization more than anything purely economic.

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