Discussion Questions




4. GirolamoSavonarola was an Italian preacher and friar who lived during theRenaissance period in Florence. Savonarola made a big impression onNiccolo Machiavelli as the former ruled Florence from 1494 to 1498.As an avid follower of Savonarola, Machiavelli was impressed by theformer’s fight for democracy. Savonarola championed the rights ofthe people to elect leaders into public office. Furthermore,Savonarola bemoaned the corruption of original Christianity.Machiavelli also felt strongly about the prevalent erosion ofChristian values. However, Savonarola was hanged and burned in May1498. According to Machiavelli, the friar’s downfall stemmed fromhis inability to arm himself (Machiavelli, 2014). Savonarola lackedthe military force capable of securing his authority.

5. Machiavellicites Cesare Borgia as a prime example of a great prince. Machiavellilauded rulers that were ruthless and self-sufficient. Borgia killedall his opponents and further converted all the weak supporters tohis cause. The Colonna and Orsni families suffered death because theyposed a threat to his rulership. Rather than relying on mercenariesand auxiliary forces, Borgia used his army. Borgia secured the newstate of Romagna by using great violence and cruelty. He covered hiscruelty by using a scapegoat. In this manner, he guaranteed that noone would hate him. Additionally, he killed the scapegoat to ensurethat people feared him. However, he failed to consolidate his rule bynot acquiring more land. Eventually, Borgia suffered grave illnessand faced attacks from 2 armies (Machiavelli, 2014). This combinationof misfortune became his undoing.

6. Agathoclescame to power after murdering all members that sat in the SyracuseSenate. Machiavelli contrasted between cruelty that was used well andcruelty that was used wrongly. If a leader used cruel means for thebenefit of his citizens and his personal safety, then it was a nobleact. On the other hand, cruelty was wrongly used if it fosteredanimosity and continued to recur with growing intensity. The endswould justify the means employed. Machiavelli criticized Agathoclessince the latter`s kingship in Syracuse yielded suffering and failure(Machiavelli, 2014). Therefore, this undesirable outcome did notjustify Agathocles’ use of cruelty.

7. Oliverotto daFermo rose to power by murdering his uncle, Giovanni, and other noblepersons in Fermo. Furthermore, Oliverotto used cruelty and militaryforce to ensure the whole city submitted to his dictatorship.Machiavelli champions the use of force, particularly when it used forthe benefit of citizens. However, the consequences of Oliverotto’sactions harmed his subjects (Machiavelli, 2014). Therefore,Machiavelli loathed Oliverotto’s cruelty.

8. Machiavelliestablishes a clear distinction between Oliverotto and Agathocles onthe one hand and Cesare Borgia on the other. All three rulers luredtheir enemies and murdered them to establish their distinctrulership. According to Machiavelli, it is impossible for leaders toavoid harming their citizens at the outset (Machiavelli, 2014).However, the difference occurs in the consequences of evil actionsperpetrated by rulers. Cruelty was expedient only if it served toeither defend the welfare of the citizens or ensureself-preservation. On the other hand, cruelty could not be justifiedif it were continually repeated to the detriment of the subjects.

As discussed,Oliverotto murdered his uncle and other persons while Agathocles slaysenators and wealthy citizens in Syracuse. On the other hand, Borgiakilled Oliverotto and other enemies at Senigallia. The differenceoccurs in the fact that Borgia used his rule to bring order and unityto Italy at a time that divisive elements had crippled the country.Additionally, Borgia used ingenuity and tact to win the favor andsupport of his citizens. He accomplished this by using his lieutenantgeneral as an unsuspecting scapegoat. On the other hand, Agathoclesand Oliverotto oppressed their citizens and created anarchy in theirdomains (Machiavelli, 2014). While Borgia acted ruthlessly due tourgent necessity, Agathocles and Oliverotto were primarily motivatedby deep-seated savagery.

9. The crueltyperpetrated by these leaders served its purpose since they were ableto retain considerable support from their citizens. Several factorscan be cited in explanation. Firstly, these leaders staved allopposition to clear their ascension to power. Further, they acquiredthe unconditional support of weak citizens. They also used theirloyal armies to accomplish their purpose rather than relying onuntrustworthy mercenaries. To retain the support of their citizens,these leaders inspired fear rather than nurturing favor and goodwill(Machiavelli, 2014). In this manner, opponents were quashed tosilence.


Machiavelli, N. (2014). The prince. Newburyport, Mass.: OpenRoad Media.

Discussion Questions




Question2: “A company could produce and sell any product as long as thereis a market”

Thisstatement means that the demand for a product precedes its supply.The statement also takes into consideration the law of diminishingreturns that states that a company will start getting decreasingreturns from variable inputs of production such as labor(Froeb,McCann, Ward, &ampShor, 2016). While the company should takeadvantage of the market for the product, there is no doubt thatproduction decisions must be prudent in allocating resources in theorganization. When a company continues to increase labor with thesame value and amount of fixed inputs such as land, plant andmachinery, the labor (which is just an example of variable inputsbecause there are others), the additional units of labor willcontinue to get less fixed inputs available to work with hence,diminishing returns. Thus, in the short run every company prudentlywork with variable inputs only within the capacity of its fixedinputs.A firm can therefore, have more output with less labor byincreasing the marginal product of labor or any other variable inputduring production.

Thestatement above, points at the prudence managers should exercise inproduction. Sometimes when there is a huge market, the managementtends to recommend an increase in labor units in an attempt to meetmarket needs. However, such steps often lead to an over-stretch ofthe firm’s variable units beyond the infrastructural capabilitiesof the firm causing negative marginal product of labor. By mentioningthat the market is the first prerequisite for producing a particularproduct, the statement does not exclude the responsibility of themanagement to act wisely when making production decisions of theorganization. A receptive market for a product gives the organizationan opportunity to make decisions that lead to profit maximization.

Question2: The benefits and costs of unemployment benefits to individuals andto the economy

Unemploymentbenefits include and not limited to unemployment insurance and othertransfer payments from the government that aim to cushion the publicfrom the effects of unemployment in the economy.These benefits arenormally initiated through social security legislation in differentcountries. For instance, in the United States, the Social SecurityAct of 1935 is one such legislation. The benefits have coveragelimits, eligibility requirements, and different methods of financingthat vary from country to country.

Benefitsof unemployment benefits

Tothe individual, unemployment benefits are immense to those employeesthat will never become unemployed even in the wake of a recession.During recessions billions of dollars are paid out in unemploymentbenefits (Salvatore, 2015). Individuals spend most of the benefitshence, limiting the severity of unemployment by providing theadditional purchasing power when and where it is needed most. Furthermore, the benefits prevent people who remain unemployed in thelong-term from leaving the labor market

Costsof unemployment costs

Tothe economy, unemployment benefits exert an upward pressure on theeconomy hence, discouraging employment (Snower &amp InternationalMonetary Fund, 1995). However, the upward pressure is inefficientbecause there are other forces in a free market economy that drivewages above their market clearing levels. Some of these factorsinclude the efficiency of wages, externalities that arise from jobsearching, labor union distortions, and inside-outsider interactions.Unemployment benefits actually magnify the inefficiency of thesefactors. Hence, the economy is likely to experience more rates ofunemployment as a result of wages being driven up by unemploymentbenefits.


Froeb,L. M., McCann, B. T., Ward, M. R., &ampShor, M. (2016). Managerialeconomics: A problem solving approach (4th ed.). Boston, MA: CengageLearning. ISBN: 9781305259331.

Salvatore,D. (2015). Managerial economics in a global economy (8th ed.). NewYork, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780199397129.

Snower,D. J., &amp International Monetary Fund.(1995). Unemploymentbenefits versus conditional negative income taxes. Washington, D.C:International Monetary Fund.