• Dr. Timothy X. Merritt

Social Change - Market Theory

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Calumet K by Samuel Merwin:

This book represents the pattern of Market Theory in fiction. It is amazing that in the modern American society, that was built primarily through capitalism, that so few fiction novels celebrate this social theory. One must scour old novels from the turn of the century to find themes that echo those of Thomas Freidman; about the near universal adoption of capitalism. Or Walt Rostow who “suggests that there are five stages of economic development that societies can progress through: the traditional society, the preconditions for take-off, the take-off, the drive to maturity, and the age of high mass-consumption (Bishop, 2012, p. 155)


In Calumet K, the foreman Charlie Bannon attempts to build a massive grain elevator, cleverly overcoming obstacles in his path like accidents, weather, industrial competition, and crafty union reps. In this industrial-capitalistic adventure, achievement is the goal.


This book is purported to be a favorite of Ayn Rand; It is very difficult to find a modern work of fiction that takes such a positive view of market forces.


Key Theorists / Tenants

  • Thomas Freidman (2005) asserts that the near universal adoption of free market economics have leveled the global playing field for developing countries

  • Walt Rostow (1990) Suggests that there are five stages of economic development that societies can progress through: culminating in an age of high mass-consumption



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