Economics and Ancient Athens
Ancient Greeks realized the consequences of over populating cities. Therefore, they limited 20000 inhabitants or 5040 families per city. The day population rose from 20000 to 30000 it found new cities to populate. They realized the importance of agriculture; spreading urbanization could minimize agricultural land and damage fertile land. Besides, behind organized urban planning the motto was to have track over population and facilitate easy communication with population.
Athenian economic democracy revolutionized trade structure which transformed to market economy. Economic democracy is a system that liberates inhabitants to proceed business functioning, without the interference of the Governments, such as production, investment, trading, service rendering, selling and consumption. Market economy or free economy is regulated by the market forces. Price is determined by the producer and the buyer on the basis of demand and supply. In this system one more person is involved “wholesaler or Stockist” who buys from the producers and stocks. This category of the market plays important role to inflate or deflate prices. Athenian free market policy too would have initiated futures contract or market, where buyer, seller and investor involved for price determination for future delivery. The poor farmers went poorer in this free market system as farmers had to sell to the stockist who decided the price.
Slave trade was active during Athenians reign. (SLAVERY IN ANCIENT GREECE by Kirsten Brown) - Household had as many as 10-20 slaves but majority had one slave. Price of a slave varied depending on the appearance and the worth. Athens treated slaves depended on the purpose they served. (Wikipedia) - All activities were open to slaves except politics. There were two categories of slaves 1st common slaves who did not have required rights. 2nd slave of God, possessed legal rights close to citizens, had rights to own lands. Relation with slaves in many cases was favourable and some slaves owned agricultural lands. Use of slaves was mainly in agriculture, mines, domestic, factories, some appointed in police or other administrative jobs, some were used in Navy and Army. According to Aristotle slaves were needed to be punished for disobedience and reward for good also Aristotle’s view was to treat slaves as own children and listen to their recommendations as they too could understand the reasons. The objective of using slaves in agriculture, factories, quarries, mines helped them to reduce cost of production.