Morality & Economy, Process & End-result

Just posting some general thoughts and happenings for these few days.

I started reading Freakonomics and I was told that Morality is the way we want the world to work and Economy is the way the world actually works. Interesting point yea?
As a Christian, I am inspired to not alone be well-versed in the morality and ways of the Bible but also being aware and educated in the Economy and market. Let’s not be an irrelevant and ignorant Christian for the Bible says God’s people will be destroyed by their lack of knowledge. Rather in my own add-on to that verse, the unwillingness to accept the way the Economy actually works)

Hosea 4:6 (New American Standard Bible)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being My priest
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

I had been reading a number of books related to Economics and Sociology; and my mind opened up to more things around my daily life. After a trip to Shanghai, I got skeptical and “wiser” in this modern world and its economies. I started looking and prices, products and its advertisements with a pinch of salt and will analyse anything about them. I quite enjoy my thought processes about these.

My mum and I went to Bugis Village; and she was negotiating and choosing her clothes. I was trying to help my mum bargain for a good price and felt extremely proud about it. Who says prices are fixed. Who told you it’s the cheapest? The problem we as consumers or anyone can face in this modern economy is this; asymmetrical balance of information.

How much does this product REALLY cost? We do not know; we can only compare with other shops. There is a high possibility that there is collusion within the same industry. Using advertisements and prices to indicate to competitors to collude. Unknowingly, I made a promise to myself that I want to learn as much as I can in all ways so that I could have a better idea of how a product was manufactured, what other factors and costs were also calculated into the price. Is an item on sale really worth it? Are the words posted on an advertisement too general? If they are, advertisers are hiding something.

Think about these words: Fantastic! Well-maintained! Big! Closing down sale! Good-looking etc… I had learned to only trust specific words like “20% STORE wide” and not “up to 20% store wide”, “Looks like Leonardo Dicaprio” and not “Good-looking!”, “34C-24-35” and not “Good-figure!” etc. What am I saying, always look for specific advertisements and not general advertisements.

I got myself a new pair of spectacles today. I feel I was giving a fun and hard time for the salesman as I ask this and that and always ask him to lower down the price. haha. I will throw in certain unexpected questions and test his sincerity and product knowledge before my mum and I can commit to his sales-talk. I even borrowed his calculator to find out how much discount was actually given. When prices comes to .99, .20, .10, etc; these prices are for you to slash; seriously. For example prices like 455, 208,720; why is there a 8 or a 5, etc. They are to psychologically blind you. It’s logical we round down to 450, 200 and 700. But why not 380, or 180? Because these are numbers we were always “unfamiliar” with. Look at your currency denomination(notes) -> $2,5,10,50,100. All “perfect and nice” numbers. It’s natural we try to round them down to these numbers and could be blinded to ask for better bargains.

Lesson: Because you are at an disadvantage in having lesser information in this many seller many buyer economy; you just got to do your own research and possess a thick skin to negotiate prices.

One last thing to add is that in this modern but “cold” world, people are committed to your end-results but not your process. For example, you are fired because of a poor end-result but human resource speaking; your boss failed to look at the experience you had gained from your mistakes(processes). Another good example; a scholarship was terminated due to your not-on-par grades; the school failed to commit and assess your fighting spirit, perseverance and tenacity to graduate well.

Be committed to your own life processes because you can hardly find anyone who will.

Lesson: I became an advocate for the underdogs.


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