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Competition

Instructions: Read both the exchange between the two students and the selection from Thorstein Veblens The Theory of the Leisure Class. Write an essaywith a…

Instructions: Read both the exchange between the two students and the selection from Thorstein Veblens The Theory of the Leisure Class.
Write an essaywith a titlein response to the following:  use the exchange between the two students to explain Veblens view of competition. To support your explanation, you must use both selections; you may also add other examples.  (Underline the thesis of your essay.  If you submit an essay in which the thesis is not underlined, five points will be subtracted from the grade you receive for the essay.)
Reading 1
(The exchange between two students)
First Student: I spent nearly all of yesterday and most of the morning studying for the calculus exam.
Second Student: I spent a few hours studying for that exam; I just want to know enough to get by.
First Student: I want to do better than that; I want to get an A.
Second Student: That’s the problem with grades. They force students to compete with one another instead of encouraging them to learn. It’s the same thing at workeveryone’s competing with one another. Our lifestyle is too competitive. Nobody wants to compete, but we live in a society that values competition and possessions. People would be much happier if they didn’t have to compete, and the world would be a much better place. All of this competition is unhealthyand unnatural. People should be taught to cooperate and to share. Everybody should stop trying to be better than the next person.
First Student: Hold on there! There’s nothing wrong with competition; it’s natural to want to be better than the next person, to stand out from the crowd. Without competition people would lose their drive, and things in general would get bad. There would be no incentive to improve anything. People will always compete. If C were the highest final grade in calculus, I would not have learned as much calculus as I have.
Reading 2
(A selection from Thorstein Veblens The Theory of the Leisure Class)
. . . the end sought by accumulation [of wealth] is to rank high in comparison with the rest of the community in point of pecuniary strength. So long as the comparison is distinctly unfavorable to himself, the normal, average individual will live in chronic dissatisfaction with his present lot; and when he has reached what may be called the normal pecuniary standard of the community, or of his class in the community, this chronic dissatisfaction will give place to a restless straining to place a wider and ever-widening pecuniary interval between himself and this average standard. The invidious comparison can never become so favorable to the individual making it that he would not gladly rate himself still higher relatively to his competitors in the struggle for pecuniary reputability.
. . . the desire for wealth can scarcely be satiated in any individual instance, and evidently a satiation of the average or general desire for wealth is out of the question. However widely, or equally, or “fairly,” it may be distributed, no general increase of the community’s wealth can make any approach to satiating this need, the ground of which is the desire of everyone to excel everyone else in the accumulation of goods.
Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class

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