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VOCABULARY. recession Ц спад labour - труд natural resources Ц природные ресурсы activity - де€тельность society - общество deal with Ц иметь дело с


recession Ц спад labour - труд natural resources Ц природные ресурсы activity - де€тельность society - общество deal with Ц иметь дело с чем -либо issueЦ вопрос, проблема land ownership Ц право собственности на землю derive from Ц происходить от чего-либо household management Ц управление (домашним) хоз€йством to make contribution Ц вносить вклад to produce Ц производить enterpriseЦ предпри€тие to consume Ц потребл€ть   tangible and intangible Цощутимые так и неощутимые to distribute Ц распредел€ть wealthyЦ богатый to stagnate Ц находитьс€ в состо€нии засто€ to go bankrupt Цразор€тьс€, становитьс€ банкротом to face restraints Ц сталкиватьс€ c ограничени€ми handsomely endowed Ц щедро одарены polluted natural environment Ц загр€зненна€ естественна€ окружающа€ среда scarce resources Цограниченные, скудные (дефицитные) ресурсы  



The word Уthe economyФ is the word we hear or read almost every day. For example, we may be told that Уthe European economy is making little progress out of recession Ф, or Уthe UK economy is beginning to recoverФ.

But what is meant by the economy? What is an economy? What happens in one? How does an economy work?

The economy is a social, constantly changing mechanism. The economy means a system for the management, use and control of labour, land, natural resources, money, goods and other resources of a country, community or household.

The rules, institutions and traditions used to coordinate economic activity differ considerably among nations, but all societies must deal with similar economic issues.



And what is economics?

Economics is a social science studying economy.

In the 1500s there were few universities that taught religion, Latin, Greek, philosophy, history, and mathematics. No economics. Then came the Enlightenment (about 1700) in which reasoning replaced God at the explanation of why things were the way they were. Pre-Enlightenment answered the question, УWhy am I poor?Ф with УBecause God wills itФ. Enlightenment scientists found a different explanation УBecause of the nature of land ownership Ф.

The word УeconomicsФ derives from the Greek word УoikonomikaФ that means household management. As a scholarly discipline, economics is two hundred years old. The first scientist who made extraordinary contributions to economics was Adam Smith. He devoted 10 years to writing his work УThe Wealth of NationsФ which founded economic science. It was published in 1776. Major economic thinkers include David Ricardo, Thomas Maltus, John Mills and others. Almost a century later, as capitalist enterprises began to spread, there appeared the massive critique of capitalism: Karl MarxТs УCapitalФ. Marx proclaimed that capitalism was doomed and would soon be followed by business depressions, revolutionary upheavals and socialism.

Why should we study economics?

The study of economics should begin with the sense of wonder.

After class you drive with a friend in a Japanese car on an interstate highway system that took 10 years and billions of roubles worth of resources to build. You stop for petrol refined in Novopolotsk from Saudi Arabian crude oil brought here on a supertanker that took three years to build at a shipyard in Holland.

You use or consume tens of thousands of things, both tangible and intangible, every day: buildings, the music of a rock band, telephone services, paper, toothpaste, beer, banks, electricity, insurance, computers, busses, health services, and so forth. Somebody made all these things. Somebody decided to organize men and women and materials to produce them and distribute them. Thousand of decisions went into their completion. Somehow they got to you.

Five million people in Belarus work at hundreds of thousands of different kinds of jobs producing over trillions roubles worth of goods and services every year. Some cannot find work; some choose not to work for pay. Some are rich; others are poor. Some countries are wealthy. Others are impoverished. Some are growing. Some are stagnating. Some businesses are doing well. Others are going bankrupt.

At any moment in time every society faces restraints imposed by nature and by previous generations. Some societies are handsomely endowed by nature with fertile land, water, sunshine, natural resources, and so forth. Others have deserts and few mineral resources. Some societies receive much from previous generations - art, music, technical knowledge, beautiful buildings, and productive factories. Others are left with eroded land, cities leveled by war, or polluted natural environments. All societies face limits.

Economics is the study of how human beings and societies choose to use the scarce resources that nature and previous generations have provided. What is produced? How is it produced? Who gets it? Why? Is the result good or bad? Can it be improved?


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