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This book deals with the nature of wealth and the various ways in which it is acquired and distributed. It draws on the historical record in describing how tribal groups have taken control of turf and have defended - both by force of arms and by argument - their right to occupy that space. One of my central points is that we are all highly dependent on our tribes - despite what rugged individualist may try to tell us..
I have framed this discussion of economics in terms of American psychologist Maslow's personality pyramid, which pictures human needs and motives ranging from basic survival imperatives at the base of the pyramid to "self actualization" needs at its peak. My point is that our economic struggles are spurred in many ways and on various levels by those needs and desires that are a central to our humanity.
I attempt to remain neutral in the policy wars, but I can not deny that I have a soft spot in my heart for the working stiff. Political and economic systems ranging from dictatorships to democracies and from free market capitalism to communism have always left him toiling at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder.
I have not included assignments in this textbook. My hope is that teachers will use my comments as stimuli for class discussions and projects of their own divising. If my presentation is not read with a critical eye, I will have failed in my mission.
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