Basic Economics: a reminder

Discussion in 'Economy' started by william the wie, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. william the wie
    Offline

    william the wie Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,262
    Thanks Received:
    672
    Trophy Points:
    175
    Ratings:
    +1,602
    This is just to have a handy reference available when arguing how many angels and which ones are dancing on the head of a particular economic pin.

    OK the standard definition: economics is the study of the production, exchange and consumption of goods and services.

    Why do people spend an inordinate amount of time getting lots of goods and services? Well according to anthropologists and evolutionary economists this is a less violent way to engage in kin selective behavior. Well less violent than the political behavior of give me what I want or I will thump hell out of you and take it anyway.

    So what is the point of piling up stuff beyond the $10-20/day needed to provide a reasonably balanced diet and other necessities for a family of four? Even doubling that amount to $14.6K keeps you well below the poverty line, yet people sleeping in their cars and living on that amount of money can be found across the country and living fairly well by world and historical standards. So the question is why when living in the lap of luxury by any reasonable standard are people discontent with a minimum wage job?

    The answer according to biology is that all of the rest of the work and expenditure people engage in is mating display either for themselves or their descendants and is no different than the territorial displays of birds, fish or insects except in sophistication.

    Economic arguments do not involve basic survival needs or mating displays are wrong.
     
  2. Mr. H.
    Offline

    Mr. H. Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    Messages:
    44,104
    Thanks Received:
    9,264
    Trophy Points:
    2,030
    Location:
    A warm place with no memory.
    Ratings:
    +15,387
    I often think of my kids as cockroaches. Maybe I should just spend it while I got it.
     
  3. loosecannon
    Offline

    loosecannon Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,888
    Thanks Received:
    263
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +264
    while that is all true, and it is true, people are also motivated by two other considerations: immortality and old age security.

    You yourself have ranted about the biological agenda to launch a tsunami of offspring that stretches 4 generations into the future. Immortality.

    And who can be secure in their old age planning when we might live to be 140 and costs of living and medical care could cost any sum in the future, even millions/day in a hospital is not unthinkable 30 years from now.

    How can you ever have enough if you want to be immortal and prepared for anything the future may smack you with?

    Besides he who dies with the most toys wins!
     
  4. william the wie
    Offline

    william the wie Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,262
    Thanks Received:
    672
    Trophy Points:
    175
    Ratings:
    +1,602
    LC it is true that there are a lot of outliers of various kinds that we see in public news but the reason they are news is that they are outliers. Natural selection is not that efficient.
     

Share This Page