Vilfredo Pareto: Another Sociological Imagination

Vilfredo Pareto



Vilfredo was an Italian, born in neighboring France, and during a period of magnificent socio~global changes. Pareto, via his many contributions to economics/sociology, is remarked in any college~level Intro. to Business or Microeconomics course, most notably in discussions about fairness (Pareto Principle) and supply and demand (Theory of Equalibrium).

The Pareto Principle indicates that ”the best application of social welfare occurs in making someone better~off without reducing the quality of anothers life or well~being” (Scott and Marshall, 2005: 476). However, what one person may view as comfortable another may not hold the same opinion, thus, value judgments/perspectives made Pareto a controversial person.

As relates microeconomic theory and other contributions to business, The Theory of Equalibrium, he contributed a great deal to. (Léon Walras’ book, ELEMENTS OF PURE ECONOMICS (1874), also references equalibrium.)
Equalibrium involves pricing in the supply and demand of goods. For instance, if there is more wheat than can possibly be sold, demand will be low. Thus, demand can be artificially stimulated by reducing the price of surplus wheat! On the other hand, raising prices slows demand. Controlling prices is actually…the control of people’s consumer behavior, and may have varying effects on what goods can be manufactured.
Pareto, theorized that the market itself (production, pricing, and consumption) hides a balancing force, that there exists a natural median point, where supply meets demand, which shows that the economy always moves to balance itself out: to reach a point of equalibrium.

You can do a quick experiment by eating as much as your favorite food as you can, for as many meals as you can~eventually, your demand for it will decline for awhile. This makes Pareto’s allegations quantifiable, that is. measurable, subject to the scientific method.

The concept of equalibrium is interesting, and has an association to The RippleFX Foundation beyond the article. That is, people who participate in social services reflect, in their time and energy, what they find is suitable attention for a given cause. If we do nothing, we’re saying we already have reached equalibrium and there is no point in assisting others. Dont forget either principle. We can accomplish a lot for many people without degenerating ourselves. We can give someone food, or talk to then in an advisory capacity, or give them a lift when they need it.

Value judgments that some believe  distinguish us are entirely artificial; they are not less important because of that fact. The value is material only because most choose how carefully and whom to apply them with (family or strangers, due to finite resources).
One really knows ones beliefs and values are organic when they are applied universally, despite resources: compassion, empathy, maturity, and love are all resources that will tragically not reach their potential, but we can try. We must always try.
Please help us find balance for your world and by doing so, let yourself become the centre of the ripple effect. .. … …. ….. …… ……… …………. ………………..

• John Scott & Gordon Marshall. DICTIONARY OF SOCIOLOGY. Oxford U. P. : 2005

• Vilfredo Pareto’s picture is part of the public domain