Ml position paper

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  • 1. Benchmark for ExistingHumanities 30-1Erin Peck<br />Classical Liberalism began to take shape in the 18th century and created a shift in the ideologies and way of thinking of many people, many of which are known to today us as classical thinkers. It was based around the principles of rule of law, self-interest and competition, individual rights, economic freedom and private property. These classical thinkers came up with different ideologies and ways of government all bases around six basic principles, which continue to act as a base for the ideology’s which are still present in current society, although a change has occurred to allow for a new modern liberalism which implies the classic principles along with new 20th century liberalism. Modern Liberalism allows for the free market and individualist based ideologies of Classical Liberalism to remain present while introducing government regulation and security in the areas of the economy, workers rights, as well as human rights. It helps to provide equal opportunity for all citizens, not just those who are able to work, or exploited to work. Modern Liberalism should be embraced to the extent that the basic needs are met and each citizen has a comfortable standard of living. Every human being has a right to basic needs and to each his own have a responsibility to take action for having those needs met. This responsibility is outlined by the opportunities created for all citizens, equal chances for each to pursue their own wealth and employment as well as to have personal control over an individual’s income. There are restrictions and limitation placed upon this responsibility, which state that under the law and under human rights. Basically this means that where harm is being done to another person or going to be done, the rights of the citizen end. We can act so far as too meet our own needs as long as we are not interfering with the safety, and well-being of our peers. Many may argue this by saying that in order to survive in today’s world, every citizen needs to fight for what they require, regardless of the needs of others, and that is a valid argument as long as proof is given that policies of Modern Liberalism are harmful to society or to the economy.<br />The Canadian Charter was created in a reaction to the 20th century changes that were taking place due to a shift in the policies and ideologies of liberalism. At this time a shift from pure individualism was due to citizens and political leader’s seeing the shift in values as well as the movement towards a more sociological understanding of society. Canada is a country which addresses the needs of all citizens, including minorities. They see that every human, not matter what race, color or gender has a right to the things that meet their basic needs (Food, Water, Shelter, Clothing and Security). The standard of living for most people is pretty similar; we do not need a lot to survive or to be comfortable, just the basics. However, quality of life is based on the wants of the individual and not the needs; it is diverse and all depends on where the person is living, working and what type of community or country they are from. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the American Bill of Rights both support this and under the individual rights of the citizen it is recognized that all citizens should be allowed this right to pursue life.<br />John Maynard Keynes recognized that when the economy was in good time’s people would spend their money, and while the economy was bad they would hoard, therefore disallowing it to get any better; this theory is now called Keynesian Economics. He proposed a solution to this problem by suggesting that governments implement money into the economy and regulate the spending of this money, which in result would allow the government to control consumer spending and more so, provide economic stability. During the times of Classical Liberalism each person was responsible for their own money, and the security of that money. If you were poor, you stayed poor and if you were rich, it was easy to stay rich because there was no reason to worry about those who were struggling. Modern Liberalism created the change from a pure individual pursuit and spending of wealth to the mentality where all citizens help to fight for equality. Before the changes of Modern Liberalism took place, workers were paid uneven wages and overworked. The woman, children and disabled were exploited and paid much less than any man, but now with the labour standards and unions introduced all workers have fair wages, including a minimum wage as well as maximum hours. With the new labour standards, workers were able to pursue, higher wages by working harder and being promoted into new positions. This was a time when equal opportunity for all workers is created through self-interest and competition in the work place and also in the economy. <br />Moving into the 20th Century many changes began to take place in the United States, when the economy began changing as well as citizens began spending their money differently. Welfare Capitalism first became present during the time when President Theodore Roosevelt held office in the United States and he began to see some of the flaws and problems with Classical Liberalism. During and after his time in office the USA became one of the world’s richest nations. There were an abundance of jobs in the factories that were producing lots of goods and the people of the United States were buying these goods, this time period later became known as the “Roaring Twenties”. Nearly the end of this decade however, demand began to overtake supply and the stock market fluctuated rapidly. On October 29, 1929 the Stock Markets crashed entirely, sending the United State economy spiralling downward into depression, and a change from Welfare Capitalism to the Welfare State, led to the creation of Modern Liberalism, which is still recognized today. Franklin. D. Roosevelt, President of the United States during the time of the Great Depression used the ideas of Keynes to create a “new deal”, a way to bring the United States out of the depression. His new deal focused on three major areas; relief for the unemployed, reform in areas of the economy and spending and finally a method to recover from the depression. It took nearly a decade for the President to pull the United States out, but in the early 1940’s the economy began to slowly level out and head back into the black. Citizens began to see and understand a different way to pursue one’s basic needs to meet their standards of living. New laws were put into place and the individual pursuit of standard of living became underlined by the boundaries of laws created by both the provincial and federal governments. Under these laws all citizens are given economic freedoms as well as collective and individual rights. Each citizen has a responsibility to recognize the rights of our peers and practise an understanding of these rights. As seen during the time of the Great Depression, when people became so desperate, they would fight, lie, steal and beg to attain the goods that they needed for survival. In this time, many citizens became fugitive, running around the law using the resources they had and scavenging for those they did not. In this time it was easy for those who would have been considered wealthy to exploit those that were struggling, and to work them with low wages and long hours, such a manner that would carry them through the depression without experiencing the bankruptcy that many had. Today, the laws which were created during the shift of Modern Liberalism hold true so that no citizen is able to rule over another, or control the abilities for a peer to meet their standards of living.<br />Many may argue this by saying that in order to survive in today’s world, every citizen needs to fight for what they require, regardless of the needs of others, and that is a valid argument as long as proof is given that policies of Modern Liberalism are harmful to society or to the economy. During the economic recession of the late two-thousands the United States government needed to provide money into its banks, which had gone bankrupt, in order to prevent the citizens of the United States from declaring bankruptcy as well. The United States economy is a built on the capitalist foundations of a free market, self-interest and competition and its citizens would argue that any involvement by the government is a conspiracy for the emergence of communism, when in reality a government intervention and the regulation of currency is the fastest way to stabilize the country’s economy. The government’s in Canada as well as the United States are beginning to learn from overspending in times of wealth, which had been one of the causes of the economic recession, due to the boom and bust cycle and have started to create financial savings programs to which money will be put into during prosperous times. In Canada, we were left much better off during the recent recession and our economy did not drop as greatly because our federal government had already understood the basics of Keynesian Economics and had created savings plans for such an event. For citizens to be productive in society it is crucial that they have a comfortable standard of living so in turn, we should embrace Modern Liberalism so that this can happen. When the needs of the citizens are met and the economy is stable, there is clear proof that the principles of Modern Liberalism are at work. <br />