Compare and Contrast Philosophy Essay
Aristotle argues that exchange of goods or services should be fair to both traders to meet their needs. He states that people need other people’s services and products. Aristotle gives an example of a shoemaker and a builder. If a shoemaker needs a house, he will have to exchange his product, which is the shoe, for a house to satisfy his need. The same case is applicable to the builder.
However, the philosopher states that since one’s item may be superior to the other, there is a need to achieve proportionate equality to ensure parity to both parties. Consequently, Aristotle approves currency as it enhances balance in such situations. A shoemaker can buy a house using money instead of making so many pairs of shoes that their value will make an equivalent to that of the house. Thomas Mun, on the other hand, did not view silver and gold as wealth. He advocated for the use of metallic coins as a means of attaining a stable currency for everyone. He emphasized on the need to increase exports and reduce imports to improve foreign trade and make the currency stronger.
The two scholars have a similar view on the ethical dimension in the trade as they highlight on the need to make currency a universal means of exchange. Money creates a sense of equality considering the fact that such material as gold, houses, and shoes are not proportional in their value. However, Thomas Mun differs from Aristotle in that he introduces the idea of foreign trade, which enables a country to accumulate wealth. He considers money as wealth, which is gained by increasing exports to earn foreign exchange. On the contrary, Aristotle views currency as a suitable means of uniting nations with mutual needs (Hirschman, 1977). It also improves associations between people with different products and services, such as doctors, shoemakers, and other people.
Hume states that money is neutral and its value rises or decreases depending on its demand. He majorly focuses on interests, whereby he says that interests rise when the demand for currency is high. Such situation is caused by high demand for loans, as well as people’s customs and habits. Thus, he encourages people to increase their desire for luxury or purchase manufactured goods to stimulate economic growth and reduce interest rates (Hume & Rotwein, 2007). Therefore, according to Hume, money itself is not wealth but it facilitates economic growth by encouraging people to spend on various commodities.
On the other hand, Locke argues that labor is the primary source of wealth as all the produced goods are a result of someone’s work. He states that people should only consume what they have worked for (Vaughn, 2014). He criticizes the idea of taking loans as it means that one wants to consume more than he or she can afford, thus, robbing others. Additionally, he views labor as a form of money. People are paid in exchange for their labor in companies and their places of work. Lock also asserts that God gave people land to cultivate it. Therefore, population growth is important as it results in creating more labor force, thus, in cumulative more wealth. In such way, labor supports life, unlike gold and silver, which are only some pieces of metal and have no real use (Vaughn, 2014). Both scholars analyze the role of money in creating wealth, but Hume places more value on money as a catalyst for economic progress. He stresses that money controls everything in an economy. The more people engage in activities that involve money, the more tremendous the growth. His view is mostly concentrated on money as it is directly linked to such things as interest rates, in contrast to labor, which is indirectly related to currency.
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