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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Price Elasticity & The Cost of Emotional Investments?

By Matti Freeman and Katie Conklin



Matti: so what is an 'elastic' - what is an 'elastic product', or whatever?
Katie: 'Price elasticity', when it's 'elastic' it's something where if the price changes, consumption changes. So if the price goes up of something, then people buy less of it. But if it's 'inelastic' then that means that it doesn't really matter what happens in the price changes, consumption will remain the same. So like for example…
Matti: so we're looking at the example of alcohol as an…
Katie: as an 'inelastic' product.
Matti: 'inelastic product', meaning - it doesn't matter how much the price goes up, the consumption Katie: will stay the same
Matti will stay the same, people - people's buying will not change.
Katie: so it's considered an 'economic necessity', because basically it's something that people require and will 'get' no matter what it costs.
Matti: Okay so we're looking at now why is it that something like alcohol - despite the price going up, your 'buying pattern' doesn't change, you still buy it. When I look at when I used to buy cigarettes it didn't matter if the price was - if it was eight dollars a pack, I didn't 'think about' how much it costs, and I didn't 'feel bad' about buying it because, once I bought it - I mean 'cause I 'needed' those cigarettes, I was addicted to them. Whereas, what's fascinating is that, I take that very same eight dollars and I go and I'm considering buying a box of cereal, and the box of cereal that's six dollars - I will be more reluctant to buy that than the box of cereal that's three dollars. I will have a conflict within myself of 'which one to buy', and I'll feel bad - I'll wanna save that money, I won't wanna spend the six dollars on the cereal, I'll rather spend three dollars on the cereal. But…
Darryl: Cause you value the tobacco more.
Matti: I value the tobacco more, because it gives me a specific experience, and the cereal doesn't give me that experience, so with the cigarettes I wouldn't blink an eye paying - just dropping - even if that's the last money I had I would just buy the cigarettes, because I'm addicted to it. So obviously it's the same with alcohol.
Then we were looking at this in relation to religion and seeing that, really religion is exactly the same. And also when you look at politics. Because it's a matter of a 'personal emotional investment' in something like - with religion it doesn't matter how…because it's 'your faith', your whole like and universe revolves around your religion so it doesn't matter how many people die, it doesn't matter how many children are abused and molested, it doesn't matter how many obvious lies and how much obvious deception is presented by the religion - your faith never worries - er, wavers, you never worry, you…
Katie: you still pay.
Matti: Your faith, your 'power of faith' does not waver, you still, you know - you keep 'buying into' the religion, and 'buying into' god, and 'buying into' the church, and 'buying into' the politician, and 'buying into' the priest - no matter what the cost, because 'you must have' that faith, you 'must have' that experience of 'everything's fine' because 'god is looking out for me', 'everything's fine' because 'president obama is looking out for the nation and solving the world's problems', whether it's a politician or a priest it's the same thing - or whether it's alcohol or cigarettes. It's like, you don't - it doesn't matter what happens, you keep buying into it because you have an emotional investment in it.
And again, obviously it's exactly the same when we look at the larger picture of how the world exists. It's like, we have such an investment in 'who we are' as our minds, as a personality, as beliefs, that we don't take the responsibility we aren't taking the responsibility to consider at a practical level, is the current way that we're living and participating here as human beings, within the economic system, within the political system, within our daily experience, actually supportive of of us and supportive of everyone. I mean, obviously the way we're living is not supportive of everyone because there's so much conflict and abuse that exists.
Katie: Well it costs the life of someone else to continue your own life.
Matti: Yes, and yet we don't, like the eight dollars - we don't question that cost because…
Katie: We need our life.
Matti: We 'need' our life - I 'need' my experience of being drunk, or having faith in god, believing everything's gonna be okay, or my experience of having my cigarette as my coping mechanism. It's like, it's the same pattern on the small scale and the large scale. So it's just really fascinating to see that in a practical..the example of, what was it? Inelastic and elastic…
Katie: Inelastic and elastic prices.
Matti: Prices, where the price of the experience we get from religion, or cigarettes or alcohol is 'inelastic' meaning, it doesn't matter what the cost is, how much shit ends up existing - our investment and involvement in 'buying into' that experience that we 'need', never wavers and we never question and look at ourselves, maybe this experience I want, is actually…not valid…
Katie: Not valuable.
Matti: And not valuable, the 'value' is made up. Because obviously if it comes at such a great cost to everyone else, and other beings, then we're compromising that which has real value which is All Life, in favor of a make believe value -- which is self interest.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for transcript, I have already watched the video.

    ReplyDelete