Readings: “The Myth of the Ant Queen,” by Steven Johnson
“Rent Seeking and the Making of an Unequal Society,” by Joseph Stiglitz
In Johnson’s “The Myth of the Ant Queen,” the author seeks to convince us, through several examples, of the virtues of a decentralized, “bottom-up” approach to the structure of complex systems. The self-organizing systems that occur in nature produce the best outcomes in Johnson’s view. But Stiglitz suggests that decentralization might not be the best approach in the economies of modern nations. Comparing examples from the Stiglitz text with ideas and examples from the previous reading (Johnson), address the following question:
How might a decentralized approach to modern economic development cause adverse results for the citizens of a society that employed them? What steps does Stiglitz recommend to ameliorate those negative outcomes?
Questions to consider that might help with your response:
- What is meant by the term “rent seeking”?
- Who benefits most from rent seeking?
- How do private corporations take steps to ensure that markets function poorly?
- What role should the government play in shaping markets?
Required formatting: double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-pt. font (Times New Roman), MLA format (Your headers, page numbers, and quotations should be formatted properly.)
MUST USE 5 QUOTES FROM EACH AUTHOR TO SUPPORT YOUR ANSWER.
FOR EX – (In his story, John says,”—“. with this quote John is telling us that…)
QUOTES MUST BE PROPERLY CITED.
FOR EX – (Johnson, 67)
ONLY USE THE 2 STORIES I HAVE PROVIDED NOTHING ELSE.