Monday, February 09, 2009

A curious thing, this market of ours

You know, it’s a curious thing, our market economy.

Valuable work is rewarded.  Sometimes greatly rewarded.  That’s a good thing—a really, really good thing.


Of course, the work that the “market” values isn’t necessarily the most beneficial for the market, nor is it always valuable for society.  Porn, for example, is rewarded.  Ashley Madison dot com is rewarded (as seen on the SuperBowl Commercial Show), but it’s certainly not a value building business for society [They offer a matchmaking site for married people looking to have an affair.  Yes, I’m serious.].  Farmers build the MOST value for society, but the market doesn’t value their work at all.  We shop for the cheapest food we can possibly buy and pass over better, fresher food because it costs a few pennies more.  Meanwhile, the people who literally build the most value for society by feeding it, get the smallest cut of the food chain profit.  Look, too, at daycare, or teachers.  We try and pay those people as little as possible and ask them to do as much as possible.  Teachers less so than daycare, but still true for both.

As individuals, too, we look to employment much the same way.  There are jobs we would much, much rather be doing (yes, I love the work I do, but even I have a dream job that I think I would much rather be doing, though my wife has not allowed me to even mention it for the remainder of the year) but choose other professions because we have to either pay the bills, or pay for retirement, or both.  So, we do what we must and save funds until such time as we can finally retire and, if we are able, do what we want.  If we’re lucky, we get to do what we want, and get paid for it.  But even if we get to do what we want, and must do it for someone else, it’s not quite that dream job we always wanted until we can do what we want, and do it because we want to do it.


It’s a curious thing, this market economy of ours.  It makes do some curious things—voluntarily.  Or have we simply become so lazy and malinformed that we have chosen to slide along doing what we must and providing the market what it wants rather than standing up and giving society (and the market) what it needs and doing what WE want, for a change?


A curious thing indeed.


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