« 20080903 Malthusian Economy Problem Set | Main | Notes: Growth Accounting and the Pre-Industrial American Economy »

September 03, 2008

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Lily Tam

An example of zero sum gain: Although there were many more consumers in England and the US who could afford cotton products, the effects of the surge in cotton production within the US on parts of the world, like Egypt, affected consumers negatively in an indirect way. Egypt used to be the main producer of cotton for the world until the invention of the cotton gin and the increased utilization of slave labor drove world prices down. This decrease in price led to a chain of economic downturns within Egyptian society, which had an effect on Britain being that Egypt was a sort of British colony. So the benefits that the Americans or British saw were at the expense of the Egyptians.

Pooja Prasad

First, I thought it was interesting that the article addressed the issue that the costs of the civil war have not been evaluated completely and thoroughly up until now. I found that a bit shocking, given the fact that it is a major war in our history. The statement made me a little bit skeptical, but I still found the calculations that the author made, both direct and indirect, legitimate and noteworthy.

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