This post is appropriate for tumultuous times like the ones we are in now. People schooled in #Economics
are well aware of the way a #FreeMarket
is supposed to automatically make sure the people who need goods & services the most
during a shortage in the #SupplySide
will get them because they are willing to pay more because their needs are higher.
I had a minor epiphany today that saw that as the #Fallacy
that it is. It always rang hollow for me, but when I learned it I was part of the culture that wants to believe it. (side note: Now, I sincerely believe that #Capitalism is mere #Secular #Feudalism, although the #ProsperityGospel types and other #Caste based #Theologies seem to make it into "old-school" feudalism
In a rare instance, I—a non-religious person
—am going to quote the #Christian
to help bring home my point. (#ItsNotAllBad
Luke 21:4 wrote:
For they have put in a little of the money they had no need for. She is very poor and has put in all she had. She has put in what she needed for her own living.
Our current free-market pricing, aka Invisible Hand Of The Market
, is the type of magical thinking we expect from theology, so why do we think it's okay for economics; a science
? I think it's because it's presented in the form of a false dichotomy in the first place. The offered alternative is fixed pricing. The logical conclusion is people overbuy because of their inexorable human fear of running out and hoarding happens as a result; obviously an inefficient market condition. #Americans
had a case of this early in the #COVID19
crisis where we went insane for toilet paper.
Some retail vendors dealt with the potential stock-outage dilemma by limiting the number a person could purchase on a single visit; #Rationing
goods. Despite this limitation being easily hacked by nefariously thinking people, it worked in general. All we needed was a nudge that effectively put across the message, "don't be an asshole
." It's hard to pull off rationing in a population of cultural capitalists who, "don't like the guvement tellin' me wut ta do.
This next thought experiment is almost impossible to do in theory, but I'm putting it into writing anyway because it points us towards better thinking. Suppose that under normal market conditions we could statistically determine the "regular" pricing for a good or service. That is a feasible activity that is done by many people in many places all the time. Now add to that the idea that we could also know either the true #Income
of people at all times. And the final element is to make the market price a linear formula of surge-pricing = regular pricing + (x percent of net-worth or annual income)
. This has the property of egalitarianism built into the pricing.
In our current system of capitalism, no wealthy person would ever weigh the surge-pricing of goods or services and think, "maybe I should wait." A majority of people in the middle class will be forced to think about it immediately, then others will be forced to overtime. People in poverty don't have the luxury of thinking it over, they have to do without or die. This is also obviously an inefficient market condition, except that people with power never viscerally feel its effects. Wealthy people only care about problems that hurt them personally.
!Stock Picking Discussion !Atheists in the open
A Woman Whose Husband Had Died Gave All She Had - Jesus looked up and saw rich men putting their money into the money box in the house of God. He saw a poor woman whose husband had died. She put in two very small pieces of money.Bible Gateway