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View Diary: A Thought to Ponder: Take 15mins to think about this. (52 comments)

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  •  Hmm.. I think I'm partially unconvinced (12+ / 0-)

    This is modern demonization hurled at contemporary exploitative markets.  And perhaps justifiably so.

    But the nature of market thinking hinges on the ebb and flow of supply and demand.  I'm talking at a rudimentary Adam Smithian level.  It is a rational approach to assess and interact with scarcity and it is an often accurate cognitive model to deal with valuation, motivation, etc.

    Your central focus on restraint evokes more of a sense of vestigial Puritanism then some evolutionary human trait.  

    I think may agree with your overall point, though I doubt with your level of vehemence, but I would approach more from a game theory perspective.  

    I would submit that the societal flaw in markets is the ingrained flaw of being mechanism that determines "winners" and "losers".  Once this model is established there is no reason why anyone would "play" without maximizing their chances of winning.  Otherwise, why play?  

    I personally have this problem when playing games with friends and family.  They see playing cards as a diversionary activity whose real purpose is to sit around a table and chat.  I see it as a pre-determined set of rules and contest, the objective of which is to defeat the opposing players through the established turn-mechanics of the game.  

    From my point of view, why else even play?  If you aren't trying to win you are just wasting your own time and confusing the game for other people.  And you know what?  I win.  A lot.  It has become a running joke in my house that I should not be allowed to play games.

    When this is brought to real-world societal situations like the national economy or public policy the same pattern and consequences go from simply beating my father-in-law at hearts for the 33rd straight time to truly devastating large swaths of the population just because they happened to "lose".

    This has been my argument against the notion of privatizing schools in order to "encourage competition".  Yes market forces will engender competition to establish winners and losers, but the education of children is not an area where I think we should deliberately make sure there will always be LOSERS.  

    Like I said, I think we may be on the same general side here, but your casual use of the word "Sociopath" makes your argument less compelling.

    But the extracted repercussions of this that Sandel illuminates in the video transcend issues of simple wealth disparity and show how such a divergence actively undermines the very essence of how we define the word "Society".

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:03:35 AM PDT

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    •  It doesn't even come down to zero-sum (5+ / 0-)

      The analogy of playing card games with relatives is cute but not necessarily adequate.  A market transaction is not always (not even usually) a zero-sum game with a winner and a loser.  It's simply a trade.

      I give you something you need, and you give me something I need in return.  That's how markets work.  It's not at all like a card game.  In fact, a business that treats its partners and clients as adversaries to be conquered will go out of business quickly.

      There is nothing wrong with markets, as you and the TED talker (forgot his name and don't recognize him -- sorry) point out.  It's just that market dynamics shouldn't be applied to every "transaction."  Kids should read for the love of reading, not to get paid.  We should protect the environment because we need clean air and water and to preserve the aesthetic beauty of it (among other reasons), not because we can make more money in the long term by doing so (though this is most likely true).  As the speaker points out, market dynamics are about individual entities filling their own needs, and the primary loss is the notion that "we're all in this together."  We have lost that.

      Markets are inherently individualistic, even when functioning as they should, i.e., not with "winners and losers."  We have lost a social conscience and a social consciousness in applying market dynamics to every area of our lives.  

      Thanks for the diary. It is a really interesting subject!

      They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

      by CharlieHipHop on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 06:52:35 PM PDT

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