Collective Madness

We all want more. We need a hero –an exceptional soul- capable of leading the mass out of this collective madness.  

You give one toy to a child and he plays with it. You give him too many and he will stop appreciating them. In the end, he may not play with them at all. We don’t need to be experts in child psychology to know that too many toys spoil the kid. That we know from experience. In popular culture we call those kids spoiled brats. In reality, what we have done is to remove the entertainment value of the toys for the child.
Economists call it The Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility. The law states that the marginal utility of a given unit decreases as the supply of said units increases. The first toy is fun. It maximizes the play utility for the kid. A second toy brings additional utility, more fun, but it does not double the fun obtained with the very first toy. As you give the child more toys, the additional fun obtained, what the economists call the marginal utility, diminishes. In the end, if you give him too many toys, he may even end up not playing with many of them. Many toys will not bring him any utility at all.
The world economy is based on more. Growth is the backbone of any and all economic thinking. Economists and Nation leaders –very bright people - are concerned about putting the economy back to work by increasing consumer spending. The trick is to persuade the consumer to buy more. Investors – and jobs - will follow. More in a hunger-stricken land would bring lots of utility, through joy, security and satisfaction. More in the land of plenty, as we have seen, brings only diminishing marginal utility. Too much of the “more” thing - like too many toys - may not bring any utility at all.
Many American two-car garages are packed to the ceiling with unused stuff. Do we really want more? Honestly, is it rational to put our time and sweat into buying things we don’t use? Even chimps would wonder how wise many members of humankind are.
Many things we buy nowadays pile up in garages and storage units unused. Yet still, we all want more. We need a hero – an exceptional soul – capable of leading the mass out of this collective madness. You may be the one.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous and totally enchanting, Cleverly constructed by the writer.Joseph Hayon

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