Thursday, September 9, 2010

Economics 1010101010101

I think that this article is well in the right of it. I was fortunate in my choice of college departments in many ways. One of which was that the thinking on economics was deep and varied. Often people treat economics as if it were math, even though it just involves math. Economics also involve human psychology and morals. Next door to my department was the business school, which had a monster of a new building paid for by alumni. I was somewhat repulsed by it, although to be fair it had a nice atrium. Occasionally I ventured into their basement to use their vending machines which, unlike their economic thinking, were more varied and complex than ours. In the basement study are hung pictures of Vince Lombardi employing people to win, although in a vastly different context. The people from this business department probably weren't stupid, but when our paths did cross I found their thinking on economic issues, among other things, quite oversimplified and robotic. Not that they were ignorant, but that they had been given lots and lots of very shallow information.

To extend the shovel analogy, mightn't it also be that a wealthy person could buy up all of the shovel supply and offer to rent them out at high rates to the poor people who couldn't afford them? Always keeping the shovels a step out of their grasp. Or, isn't it also likely that the same individual or conglomerate would offer to sell the shovels to poor people during storms, but on a loan payment basis and at a high rate of interest? Therefore to make their rent and other needs for the month, poor people would be forced to buy the shovels to dig out of the snow and then be saddled with payments for an object they won't always be in need of. Maybe the same or another individual could get them in debt on fans in the summer and rakes in the fall and allergy medicine in the spring. All things that the rich would have in abundance and chide the poor for not making do without. That is economics too. What if a neighborhood of poor people decided to go in together and buy one shovel for the neighborhood and set-up a rotation of shovelers to free everyone from the snow at a low cost? What if the powerful shovel interest influenced lawmakers to ban these kind of organizations and a PR firm to taint them as socialist? It sounds absurd, but it isn't far off of reality. Keep in mind that we have seeds that are sold to farmers that intentionally won't generate new seeds so that the farmer has to buy seeds again the next year. We have underprivileged homeowner organizations like ACORN destroyed through the media and congress. These are economic issues. I could go on and on, and I am sure you could to. It just goes to show again that knowledge of something is not mastery of it, or even complex understanding.

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attempting to silence the voices in my head.