Roman Empire - Sample Essay

For instance he keeps making parallelisms of the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages and how disorganization crept in slowly making their agriculture efforts fail. He states that there was not enough calories available to sustain vigorous activity and so the “quality of life inevitably declined. ” That may be true then, but in this age of technology, we are better off than the Romans and if it is just organization that is the problem, then that just needs a pooling of resources from all sectors and really getting to the core of the issues.

Thurow also discusses the role of women and I am reminded of countries where living conditions make it almost impossible to satisfy a family’s basic needs; where women often migrate to other countries; where a better economy promises higher wages. This forced emigration is actually a form of oppression. It is done out of extreme need, and is disadvantageous for the women who must part from her family so that she can provide for their material requirements.

Even professional and highly trained women, such as doctors, nurses and teachers, seek other venues where their skills will merit them higher economic rewards, a situation that may lead to “brain drain” in the developing states (United Nations 2004, p. 202). Along with “the feminization of poverty,” there is also the “feminization of agriculture. ” In China, for example, when men migrate from rural to urban regions where more and better jobs are available, the traditional agricultural work falls to the women who have been left behind.

The resulting dominance of women in agriculture ought to have been an empowering stage, yet it turns out that only the manual labor was passed on to the women. The power to make the decisions still remains in the hands of the absentee males. The women who tend the farms are not even allowed to apply for agricultural loans without authorization from their husbands (United Nations 2004, p. 99). Yet, this practice is hardly surprising for a culture that considers the male offspring as “jade” and the female as “tile. ”

Indeed, there is no doubt that gender inequality is tied to the stagnation, or worse, reduction of growth and development of an economy. This is understandable, as one of the most important resources today—the talent and skills that the female workforce can potentially offer—is left unutilized, untapped, and especially unappreciated. Women can accomplish so much more if given the chance to fully develop their capabilities without the hindrance of conventional gender-based prejudices. By and large, I consider Thurow’s book as an absorbing read.

We must credit Thurow, with his reputation and influence, for putting poverty and its consequences within our radar. We may get waylaid by our passion to be more competitive, or that we may have become too jaded to care for others. While it is admirable to dispense a medicine to a sick person, we must always remember that it must be a medicine that is suited to the physiological make-up of the patient. The article’s conclusion throws this generation a challenge. Thurow wants us to understand that “No one can know what will happen if inequality continues to rise and a large majority of our families experience falling real incomes.

But if capitalism does not deliver rising real wages in a period when the total economic pie is expanding, its hold on the political allegiance of the population will be threatened. ” We need to look more closely and seriously at his statement “that if the democratic political process cannot reverse the trend to inequality, democracy will eventually be discredited. ”


Boyes, E. (2006). Japanese Women Demand Equality in the Workplace. Japan Today. Retrieved Oct. 3, 2007, from http://www. japantoday. com/jp/feature/1113 Stephan, K. (1999). Does Gender Inequality Reduce Growth and Development? In Flavia, M. (2002). Economics and Gender: Selected Biography. United Nations Publication.