Quote: “He’s a lousy businessman because he doesn’t seem to realize that profit keeps a business alive. Without it, you’re bankrupt, and you can’t help your customers or your employees.”
Commentary: This was quite a revolutionary notion for me. I guess I’ve always pictured profit as the great moral evil of America, but, Sam is right. Profit does actually help people: it rewards employees for their hard work, and they can put that money towards other, charitable endeavors. I loved the author’s connection to “It’s a Wonderful Life,” mostly because it is one of my favorite movies. And, he’s right: Bailey and Potter are both awful businessmen. Bailey cares too little of profit, and Potter cares too much about it. And I do feel like those are the two extremes in America: there are those that believe that companies should give every dime back to their community, and those that believe that companies should make as much money as possible, even if at the expense of others. I wonder if that is why our economy always seems to be in so much trouble? Is it because some want the market to be like a prison, heavily regulated, and some want the market to be like the wild west, lawless? I’m beginning to think like Laura: the market should be like a tasteful garden. We should allow companies to grow and flourish, but not so that they hurt the rest of the garden.
Question: What is the best kind of market?
I agree completely about the Wonderful Life reference. It seems like this book is a lot of Sam explaining an economic principle three different ways; and the way that makes sense depends on the person.
Is our economy in trouble? The NASDAQ's at an all-time high. But I know what you mean. Economics is volatile, and you might be right, that it's success is based on the struggle between these two tendencies. That's why "It's a Wonderful Life" is a great metaphor.
Yeah I agree
Quote: "But monsters don't often succeed in business. The sweeter competitor offering good service and low prices is a better bet. There's an invisible heart at the core of the marketplace, serving the customer and doing it joyously."
Commentary: I really liked this quote because it shines a new light on how many people view business people. Earlier in the book, Sam talks about how business men and women are always portrayed as these evil people who's soul purpose in life is to generate as much money for themselves as they possibly can. I, like many others, had a similar view on business people as well most likely for the same reason Sam was describing. However, as he gave examples as to why these types of leaders and CEOs would be unsuccessful in real life I was able to see that many companies try to serve the customer first. If they are successful in that, then the money will come. One will not happen without the other. Of course, money is a large incentive for providing customers with quality products, but businesses know that if the costumer isn't happy, there is no way that the business will survive. This quote brought a new and interesting concept to my attention of not all business men and women being blinded by greed and I am glad I was able to learn it.
Question: What happens if a company only cares about money and other poor values however still sells quality products, will customers still continue to purchase things from them or not care enough to stop?
Sam argues that caring about money and profit will make a company treat its customers well, otherwise it will be outsold by another company willing to offer consumers more value for a lower price.
I agree with Mikayla, profit and being successful will give the company incentive to treat its customers well, otherwise they will fall lower in the "food chain"
This section made me think a lot, too! To answer your question, there are a lot of unethical companies that are successful today, so, yes I do think people would continue to buy quality products from irresponsible corporations.
Quote: "In popular culture, business is always portrayed as monstrous because that's what sells. People like feeling victimized so they can hate their oppressor." (Page 76)
Commentary: I believe that this is very true. Businesses could be looked down upon by one group or another. Whatever beliefs or values a place might hold others will disagree and it will be almost impossible to create a company where everyone is in favorite of it. What makes it worse for business that have strong ideals, they will be torn apart by the media or by the public. For example when Chick-fil-A was not in support of same-sex, everyone freaked out and turned Chick-fil-A into the monster when it was a CEO who did not want it. He was the head, so people claimed that it was Chick-fil-A that was against, when Chick-fil-A is a company and the CEO was the person who was making the claims. However Chick-fil-A's CEO took back that statement and the media forgot all about it because they could not make Chick-fil-A look like a monster. But, we still look at companies and places to try and find a reason to be angry and to blame them for what is happening. We make mountains out of mole hills and it is easy to play victim than to try and find change.
Question: Why do we find it easier to play the victim and to give up so easily?
Maybe so we don't have to take responsibility for anything.
I 100% agree- we push the blame until we find someone who's blame is irrelevant, at least to us.
I totally agree with you about how we make mountains out of mole hills when it comes to media coverage. I think that the reason why we find it easier to play the victim and give up is simply because it is easy. It's easy to see something that you disagree with and get angry about it. It's easy to point out the faults in other people or companies since it's easy to argue about what you believe in contrast to other people and their beliefs ESPECIALLY when you don't know all of the details as to why people or companies like Chik-fil-A feel the way that they do. It's just easy to complain and play the victim since to play the victim all you need to know and understand is what is oppressing you, not why they say what they do or the whole reasoning behind what they believe.
Q: "Thats why Bill Gate, Microsoft's founder, sleeps so poorly." Pg. 72
C: I tried reading through the two chapters to find a better quote but I really liked this one.To me is really shows how tied down to money we are. Bill Gates, one of the richest men alive is labeled her as a worrier. Someone who worries about money. this is understandable, as everyone does, but it is shocking that even when he has so much money must always be on his mind. IT has to be, his life is made around his business, his fame, his money. I wish money didn't tie us down like that, I wish we could be free to be who we as and what we are with out worrying about or paycheck. We are the only organism on this earth that pays to live on it, its skewed.
Q: Why do we need care so much for money? I understand why but why did it start?
While I am in no more favor of the notion of currency as you, people like to see their time and effort in a job materialize into something that anyone will barter for. If for example you were paid in chickens from you job, not every vendor would want to trade their goods, food, repairs, etc., for chickens.
Nah but money is just value, anything value can be used to get something equal or greater to that value. It probably started with I'll give you this if you give me this and so on.
It's really crazy when you think about what money is, it's just paper and the only reason it has any value is because of the value we put into it as a nation. I don't really understand how money was able to come to the value it is today but it must have taken a lot of convincing in the beginning.
Money can lead to power and thats a goal everyone wants, to be powerful in society. Since this world runs on money it would make a lot of sense on why people need it so bad.
I was actually asked today what i thought it would take to have a home in the United States, and I replied with a stable income which i thought would be a reasonable answer. The questioner told me how animals find homes so easily without any form of income, they soully just make their home from natural resources. Humans can do that too, we just think that there is a "right" way to do something so we don't make houses out of hay any more. We don't have to depend on money so much if we start thinking for ourselves and not how society directs us like cow herds.
Its funny how we base our lives off of time and money, two fictional ideas that we now live by that depresses every single person. Nobody tries to challenge the system and everyone is depressed by it.
Quote: "Don't bother picking it up. If it were really there, someone would have picked it up already."
Commentary: This is an intriguing quote because it sums up what many of us think, yet it also makes a lot of sense. It seems like everything has been invented, and in day to day life, I rarely come across anything that I want to actively change. There seems to be the idea that if something was wrong, someone is already fixing it. This idea can allow opportunities to pass us by. It always seems like there are other people who have thought of an invention of business plan, because it makes sense that we are not the first people to see circumstances in a certain way. The economists walking by the twenty dollar bill don't bother to pick it up because they do not assume that they are the first to run across it. This reminds me of a quote by Augustus De Morgan, who said that anything that can happen, will happen. Somebody could have picked up the twenty, therefore it must have already happened.
Question: Is this just an economist's perception, or does everyone believe this subconsciously?
This is exactly the notion that I have been stewing over for the past couple of weeks in the Bio-mimicry project, and it is nice to see it all laid out so perfectly in words.
Q: "you can no more stop the market place from filling every obscure niche of consumer desire than you can stop the rain forrest from blossoming in every direction."
C: I chose this quote because I believe it is true. The market is filled with so many different products that are necessary, and so many products that are unnecessary. This is because consumers are never satisfied and constantly want more. The market if fueled by the constant need of the people. This is why so many products are made, because no one is satisfied and content with nothing. And no matter what the product is someone will eventually find the need or desire for it.
Q: Why do you think people constantly buy more and more products even if they don't need it? Also why are their so many types of products?
I think there are so many different types of products because people don't realize what they don't have until someone makes it apparent that they need it. Like for different types of milk for example, there are a whole bunch of different types. If there was only one kind, no one would think they were missing out on anything.
People always want the brand new item, even if it does the same job as all the others. I know I feel that way, even though I know for a fact that the new product is the exact same as any other.
Because people tend to feel satisfied and happy when they have more things in their possession. If you look at some rich people they have millions yet they live simple lives with simple things that are out of necessity and little to no regard for material things, and there is the other rich guy who buys everything he can to feel like he as achieved something but he will never be happy no matter how many things he buys.
"Trivial or sublime, you can no more stop the marketplace from filling every obscure niche of consumer desire than you can stop the rain forest from blossoming in every direction. Does a rain forest really need more than ten kinds of flowers? Does every square inch need to be alive with life? Can't some of it be left alone?"
This quote brought into my mind the image of a society where people are given the choice of only one type of one thing, for example the only shirt available is grey, and the only home on the market is the exact same style and make as every other home. The people do not see the need to waste energy on producing more than one type of good, for there are other aspects of their lived that need attention, such as their job. Without the diversity of everyday objects around them, the day, at least to me, seems bland and everyday would seem to blend into one another. The thought of there being less choice in my life disturbs me?
How would you cope with a bland society that only accepts the practical and utilitarian.
I like how elegantly you explained that quote! I agree, it would entirely stifle creativity and I personally believe that is a huge part of the human experience. Not to mention most dystopian movies feature lack of choice and uniformity (like the Giver).
I think your question is interesting. I have a follow up question- are you saying the bland, utilitarian government is the non-capitalistic or is the capitalistic version of society?
Q: “Welcome to the wonderful world of economics. Everything precious in life has a cost."
C: I like this quote a lot because I've noticed the same is true for things in my own life. Also I've spent a lot of time listening to podcast like freakanomics where they discuss this concept a lot.
Q: What about love? I know I have to give up a lot for a good deal of my relationships, but it doesn't feel like my parents love is based on me giving things up, except for my freedom maybe? I'm not sure. Its a good question to ponder as to whether some things come free.
This quote struck me after reading it because I wonder how you can determine the cost of something that was never meant to have a price put on it like a life.
Not sure if your question is if love has a cost, but if it is, yes it does. What you put in you get out but in some cases that isn't always true, your input maybe high but your output is low.
"...to make sure your bagel is fresh, a stranger does it voluntarily. Not out of love for you, but out of self-interest."
"Self-interested doesn't mean cold-hearted or even selfish."
This part really struck me. It made me realize the thing Sam had been trying to explain for so long. The system does not work for you, it works for you because it is a system. The world is a place that is built on these relationships that have been made to lift all of us up. We've build a system that is able to work for both heartless and heartful people. It works for everyone. Or at least, that's what Sam would argue.
Would most economists generally agree with Sam?
I really like this quote too, it made me think of the different perceptions of selfishness and voluntary doing a job. I wonder why or how people view these things too.
This section made me ponder every impression I had about selflessness, and, consequently, self-interest. I think that many economists would agree with Sam on that argument: that self-interest doesn't necessarily mean that only good things for you come out of that action. But I think they would disagree that the system benefits all: how many truly selfless people live in mansions?
Quote: "It seems obvious that if you don't have enough money, money is the solution. But I think that Maimonides is saying that the solution is whatever makes the person independent"
Comment: While reading this book I think that theres a lot of obvious metaphors and some not some obvious but whats really interesting to me is when Sam and Laura have these conversations that these once obvious metaphors seem very complex and hard to comprehend. I like the first sentence because to any person if you don't have enough money, money is the obvious solution but what was interesting was that in may money isn't always the solution to the problem. After finishing chapter eight the most obvious solutions to me where the ones that helped grow and become better not aid them at old habits.
Question: How/ Who can you deicide how or whats best for someone not whats right for someone?
Yea that is a really good question! Well I think that the issue can be solved by theory that Sam has about a self-regulating market due to everyone regulating each other while pursuing self-interest!
To answer your question, I think its what ever a person puts most value in, weather its money or something thats not tangible. So I think it would depend on the individual person, and deciding what they value.
I don't really understand the question. I feel like if you do the whats best for someone it's usually also whats right for someone but maybe I misunderstood the question.
"Because profits help the customer" Pg 66
Throughout the conversation between Sam and Laura, it is seen that Laura is angered because her blouses cost a lot to wash while Sam's shirts were cheaper. The more the two talk on the topic, the more Laura gets mad. Sam is open minded and speaks the truth and Laura has trouble hearing it. Then he says the quote that was listed above. Some of us, not all, get bothered at the prices of things yet we don't look deeper on how it affects us afterward. We are sort of small investor, all pitching in, by doing so we are making that of we are "investing" in and making it greater, and the input will be the same as the output. Cost=Cost of product. Higher the better, and the better product, the better it is for the customer.
Does input of cost and output of product always occurring? If not what are some examples where the seller is selling high for cheap product?
Well its always the goal of the seller to raise the price of a cheap item and sell it to some clueless sucker. It happens a lot and most stores and companies raise their prices to gain money from their product.
Q: “There’s an old joke about two economists walking down the street. One says to the other, ‘Look! A $20 bill.’ The other one says, ‘Don’t bother picking it up. If it were really there, someone would have picked it up already.’"
C: I really liked this quote because I felt it told a lot about Sam’s character in the book. The way he doesn’t get very heated in these arguments is really exemplified in this quote because he is using a joke as a point instead of citing an actual source. I also like this quote because it actually tells a lot about the point he is trying to make that, if there actually is any wiggle room for making any more of a profit off something then the chances are that it will be done as fast as possible. Its also a good introduction for his next point he makes about always finding a way to continuously lower prices. This quote also makes his argument more relatable, instead of him just spewing out facts, he actually brings up a real life situation and it makes his argument more engaging and interesting to read.
Q: If an economist wasn’t writing the book, would Laura win more arguments? Is this book biased?
I think this book favors Sam's views and is trying to convince the reader, by having Sam convince Laura, believe Sam's point of view.
I think that it would probably offer different view points because it would not be written in the same perspective but I'm not sure if Laura would win. However she seems to take a general stance on most issues so maybe if it were written by someone else they would agree with her arguments more.
" If you knew that there was someone out there dropping dollars every day, you'd spend time trying to figure out where and how to get there."
I really like how Sam thinks and how he sees the market and money in general. It is amazing how un-attatched he is to money and how he sees the problems with systems in our society and how some of these systems actually have a heart at the center of them even though we see the system as trying to rob us of our money. I like how he ties self interest to the regulation of economics and businesses!
My question is if there has been a part in the book where it shows that Sam actually likes money.
Your question raises a good point; Sam seems to be very interested in economics but is not very personally invested.
I think that your question is fair, I don't think that the book will show that because Sam has a degree in economics. He has seen how the corruption works its way on people, and he seems to want to teach others how to have a good balance.
"Do you think we need more than one type of hot beverage with and without caffeine? You weren't even content to order coffee. You're having a skim latte. Imagine coping with a world of tea and only tea."
This gave me an interesting insight on how there are so many "duplicates", and how so many different products practically accomplish the same thing. People think they are getting this exciting brand new item when in reality it is really no different from another brand that is cheaper, or less known. The thing that fuels this I believe is the marketing of each product, which makes it seem like it is so different from the 500 other caffeine drinks out there. It is super interesting to see how all of this works out.
What would life be like if we only had one product to accomplish each task?
I think that if there was only one product available there wouldn't be much of a difference since we wouldn't even know what we are missing.
I think life would be totally different because then there would be this whole factor of monopolies that could come in to play, because when products have a competitor they have to make sure that the customer wants there own product opposed to there competitor. Prices for simple things would become astronomical because there would be only one provider of the product.
Q: “Welcome to the wonderful world of economics. Everything precious in life has a cost."
C: This is a quote that, in its context is only relatable to the world of economics, but is so commonly said everywhere else in life. People always say that nothing is free, or that everything has a price, and so I really liked that they used a line that so many people must of heard in there lives, and applied to their case.
Q:I was wondering is they did that on purpose. If they thought by tying something that people will hear so commonly, that it'll make economics seem more human.
"You only care about profits"
In the business world this is the easiest way to succeed, If you can throw away or your morals and stop being fair it would make your life so much easier in gaining tons of money. This is why I respect people who are able to become very successful in life without cheating it. In the 2 semesters of being in a company I have had to face this guilt of becoming unfair for my company to do better. We ended up with to many people in our company and had to fire a lot of them and it came to the decision of keeping the people who have been there since the begging or a new harder working group of people. Unfortunately I had no decision in this but it was still very sad to see everyone that I started it up with have to leave.
Do you think success could be achieved while being fair? or can it not?
I believe success can be achieved while being "mostly" fair, however having success is very likely to happen without it being fair to someone.
Yes matt, I was one of those people who got fired from the company. But I get a hint that it was for the great or good for your company. I thought it was only fair for your company to keep the originals that way things can run smoothly without the disturbance of the newbies.
Success can be achieved while being fair but it is harder in most cases. If you watched the movie Wolf Of Wall Street he started out small but he started cheating the system and stealing from people but in the end it caught up to him and he failed.
"Isn't it amazing that all over the city, tomorrow, there will be plenty of bagels? You and your fellow bagel lovers don't have to make reservations. You just show up and there they are. Isn't it wondrous?"
At this point, I am really starting to enjoy the book. The way that Sam is explaining all the business terms in very relatable terms is very helpful. That's why I chose this quote; I really love bagels and the whimsy that Sam is putting into these arguments. It definitely has made me appreciate the economic system that we use and live in because although it definitely has some flaws, it is far better than other methods.
I wonder when Laura is going to realize that Sam likes her because it's pretty obvious. And I wonder how the rumors of him leaving will play out and how the second story about HealthNet will connect to Laura and Sam.
I was wondering about the second story too!! The author makes Laura seem really slow and stubborn, so it may take her a while!
“Self interest isn’t good or bad. It’s a fact of life. We strive. We try to do better. We try to get ahead. It’s a fundamental part of our humanity.”
This quote really struck me, since feel I could relate to it so much. I know several times in my life that I have done things that were just in my interest, that would benefit me but hurt someone else. So in a sense self interest is good for you to achieve your goals and to get what you want. But when you think just about yourself you can end up hurting others in the process. Weather it is intended or not. Like for example some big companies over price products, sell unsafe products, or faulty products so they can make some quick cash. Yes it benefits the companies but screws over the consumer. And honestly looking out primarily for ourselves is part of human nature, weather it is good or bad.
Can businesses still be really successful if they mainly look after the consumer, thus sacrificing some profit?
I think that they can be successful because of the self-regulating system he explained where the consumers won't shop at places that aren't satisfactory to them.
I think that while we would really want it to, I'm not sure that it could really work that way. I understand what TJ is saying about how consumers won't shop at places that aren't satisfactory to them but at the same time profit is the only way that a business can survive. Without all the profit that a company or business can get, it becomes harder and harder to keep the company afloat.
Quote: I was having trouble finding a quote I could really connect with and reflect on, and as I was going through some of these posts I saw this one, which I loved- “There’s an old joke about two economists walking down the street. One says to the other, ‘Look! A $20 bill.’ The other one says, ‘Don’t bother picking it up. If it were really there, someone would have picked it up already.’ "
Commentary: This quote stuck out to me for a two reasons- it explains Sam's character in a nutshell and it personifies the way society views charity. I think it's important to note Sam is the character with which the author directly relates to, and as such I feel that, as Mrs. Clark said in class, he will always win. Anywho, moving on to my point; This quote exemplifies Sam's personality because it proves that being calm in the heat of an argument almost always guarantees a win for you. I really do think that Sam has a sort of apathy to all other views and that he cannot see that there are people with different feelings other than his. I feel that the author wrote Sam as a calm man with passion, but not too much passion to be overwhelming, and not too little passion to care- this is a perfect formula to win an argument and to win over readers.
Commentary (continued): This quote also made me think of how society views charity. What do we think of when we see twenty dollars? Is it "Let me give this to someone in need!" or is it "I deserve this because I found it." I also think that this quote speaks volumes about Sam's financial situation and his apathy towards more money.
Question: How would Laura explain capitalism to Sam? I understand he always explains it to her, but what would she say to him?
"But whats the best way to keep the greed from hurting the consumer?"
I thought that this was an interesting question.i never really thought about it before because they always talk about greed but never how it hurts the one that pays. I think that it is interesting because its a completely different way of thinking, i personally don't think of things like this but i imagine that some people do. also the way that sam explains everything is very entertaining and he brings up and argues in a way that makes you think but also laugh. Also the way that he phrases things/relatable, it makes it easier to understand.
because i don't have the answer what is the best way to keep greed from hurting the consumer?
I think that the consumer would be protected by the number of consumers because they won't buy something that isn't good enough, so a business driven by greed won't get any business because of its flaws.
Q: "But to make sure your bagel is fresh, a stranger does is voluntarily. Not out of love for you. But out of self-interest.To make sure the business survives by keeping the consumer contented."
C: I liked this analogy, it is interesting how much is depended on the consumer. The baker makes sure there is enough bagels to fill any order, and the customers don't worry about there not being any. But if one day there were no bagels, the bakery would most likely lose a lot of customers for good. It is in the bakers self interest to support his family or expand his business, and the only way to do that is to please the customer.
Q: How does this system work on a bigger scale, for example with HealthNet? Why do they not seem to care as much about their customers or community as a baker with a small business?
I believe HealthNet is just a company that focuses on money and progression. As for the bakery, they do it for their customers because they know that they are appreciative by their customers. Which encourages them to give their customers good quality bagles.
"You know, drinking straws. A paper straw works fine. But even for a product as trivial as a straw, gets improved. You can have paper or plastic. You can have it in color or with stripes. You can pay a little bit more and get it with a bend built in. You can have it with a little spoon on the end."
I decided to choose this quote because Sam is talking on how customers get attracted to things that are cheap and with high quality. Sam explains it in a way I can easily understand. I never really looked at it that way, even with the little things like straws or dental floss. Their would always be ways to improve everyday nesecities that people would want. Thats the only way to keep the customers from buying product with newer qualities. I really like Sam's explaining methods it gives me a good sense on his views of economics.
I wonder if this book is really biased? Because so far Sam has been the one who has really been putting work during the conversations.
I agree customers to get attracted to cheaper products.
Q: "You can have a perfect system with imperfect outcomes."
C: I had to read this a couple times, then had to read the paragraph and pages a few times to try and figure what he meant. He was using an example of a baker and how a marketplace works so flawlessly, that the baker doesn't need to be overflowing with love for you(costumer) to treat you well. How competition and self-interest/gain serves you. This was impacting because it shows that even if a staff of any store/restaurant/service is being nice, may be treating you well only because your a costumer and not because there a nice person. They argue how a marketplace in his eyes that the marketplace is perfect. While there may be a few bad apples the tree is overall a good tree. That the marketplace is so complex it shouldn't be messed with, nor does it need to be tweaked as something so complex may be effected negatively if effected at all.
Question: To be a good salesmen, could you just be a good actor?
Good acting can get the customers' attention, but customers want sales people that are genunie and helpful.
"Work harder. Take a second job on the side. Don't complain. Do something about it. It's easy to blame the system, but it's in your hands."
This quote means a lot to me because it holds a lot of truth. I believe that people should work hard to get where they want to be and be responsible for themselves. I think putting effort into your life is the only way to become successful.
Now I wonder how Laura's views have changed because she seems pretty neutral after the conversations but a devil's advocate during them.
I noticed the same view about Laura, Riley. She does seem very, very stubborn during conversation, but like a nice, easy to be with person when not. She actually ticks me off quite a lot, and I don't really know why. She just kind of makes arbitrary decisions and stands by them religiously, which annoys me.
"People like being victimized so they can hate their oppressor"
I find this quote ridiculously applicable to so many situations. Not only in the business world but i've seen, and honest to say, experienced it in many social atmospheres. People find it easy to talk about the negatives of life, and many people can relate to feelings of victimization and oppression, no matter how strong the feeling they can relate to a flavor of it. Often in school, kids will complain about the work load to other kids who will then agree with them and then they both end up deciding they don't like a certain teacher. Its funny to think people like the idea of victimization but its a source of drama that many people love to dwell on. People tend to look for someone to blame also, because many cannot stand the idea of themselves being responsible for something attaining a negative connotation. With this in mind, the "oppressor" is to blame for the seemingly negative scenario. I think we dwell on negativity because its common for people to search for sympathy and/ or for attention. If we talk about negativity, there is a chance we will get advice, sympathy, attention or all of the above. But there is also a chance where two people could have a "negativity war" as i like to call it and they each try to make the other person feel like the other one has it worse. This is a path that leads to a dead end of negative attitudes and outlooks toward life.
How would the world change if we all dwelled on the beautiful and wonderful things in life versus the negative?
I think it's important to have a balance of both, If we were to as you said focus on the negative things the beauty in world would slowly be drained, however completely ignoring the negative is just putting a cover over the bad, and nothing would ever get solved.
Preach it Nicole!
"When people say they are underpaid, they usually mean they wished they earned more."
Even when not related to money people often feel they are unappreciated for their work, and I notice that in day to day life. I hear people talk about the A they should have gotten on a project, but really if they deserved to get an A they would have gotten an A. When we see the work we put into something we expect everyone else to see it even if it's minimal, we want people to acknowledge the same qualities we see in ourselves. Bringing it back to money however, I think really feeling that one deserved more is stemmed from the obsession with money, and assuming we are always better than someone else. In the book it mentions the fact that athletes and movie stars make more money than teachers is unfair. When in reality these people probably work just as hard, and though the impact they have is not conventional they are as deserving of every penny they ear as everyone else.
How did the obsession with money start?
Wow, Chenoa. You articulated a feeling I've noticed for a while really well! People are selfish, and they think tokens of appreciation should be handed to them on a silver platter for every little thing that they do.
"Sam was surely too reactionary to become a close friend"
I can really relate with this quote. As a person with ADHD, I am often impulsive or reactionary. Hearing this quote is interesting for me, since it is coming from the perspective of other people in my life, too. I think it is really interesting but very disappointing that people are quick to rule out people who they believe are too impulsive/reactionary in their lives. They actually are probably missing out on a lot of fun. People like this are often very light-hearted, and can sheer people up really easily. While they can get on people's nerves, they are always going to be bubbly and excited (and excitable).
Why do people rule other people out so quickly? It's like judging a book by its cover, isn't it?
As we mature hopefully we learn to get to know people before judging them. First reactions can be wrong.
its in human nature do that, everyone does it!
Quote: "Very funny. You just admitted that you prefer teaching high school to making more money."
Comment: This quote is interesting to me because I come from a family where there are teachers on both sides. Money is neccessary to live, but money does not buy happiness. The teachers in my family taught school because they enjoyed sharing knowledge with others. I have never heard any of my relatives talk about how they do not make enough money. I believe they understood when they got into teaching that teaching was not going to make them rich.
Question: Why do people who have high paying jobs, make career changes that pay less?
Because they are valued by what they are doing! Even when it may seem little it is priced right by others!
"People are constantly trying to find ways to make your life better" pg69
When I read quote I was shocked somewhat. We are always trying to make things better even if it's something small. Like pencil grip or toilet seat heater. Always trying to make changes, to make us less and less like humans. I remember video about the spoken word on technology. First it started with a phone meant for just calling, but now there is so much we can do that we forgot our natural human skills.
Can finding ways to make life easier be bad?
Finding ways to make life easier can be bad in some ways but it can also be good in some ways. It can be bad in some ways because technology can possibly lower social connection.
Quote: "We try to remember that medicine is for the patient. We try never to forget that medicine is for the people. It is not for the profits. The profits follow, and if we have remembered that, they have never failed to appear. The better we have remembered that, the larger they have been."
Comment/Analysis: I thought that this is one of the best points that Sam made. The pharmaceutical company has the motto that if they remember that medicine is for a patient, to help someone, and not for a profit. They put customer service first and realized that when they do the customers come and more than when they don't. I thought that this was a great example of everything that Sam was explaining and showed how a business doesn't have to be corrupt to make a large profit.
Question: Why is it that in the previous argument/conversation Laura was the role that pointed out all of the counterpoints to Sam's argument but she did not play that role in the conversation?
quote: ""good morning Sir"" as she hands him a cup of coffee and a sheath of papers"
Commentary: This has really brought into persepective the typpical cookie cutter everyday job that many people have. Especeially economists have a lot to do and yet they try to sugar coat it with a coffee and a polite pretty lady.
Question: When will the job ever be done? What will be the conclusion of this "era" of hard work and not a ton of pay off?
Quote: People feel underpaid, when all it is is people don't appreciate what they get.
Commentary: I think this is so true for Americans. People often are very ungrateful with what they have when in reality a lot of people around the world do not have anything close to what we have. I know though from experience if you work hard you feel you deserve a lot. But it is also relative to what you are doing really.
Question: What would it take for people to start appreciating the things they have?
Its an interesting concept, my interpretation is that people are not aware of what they have because they are shielded from the people that are "less." It always takes just one experience to start appreciating something. One example that I know is Mrs. Clark's dad, he fell and had a bad experience, but he was one of the lucky few that managed to get back on his feet and start appreciating what he had.
Q: "Thats why Bill Gate, Microsoft's founder, sleeps so poorly." Pg. 72
C: I found this quote to be really important because I think that it shows how being in such a high position in a company and getting paid and living the life of having millions and millions of dollars but not fully feeling happy. I think that this shows a great example of having so much money doesn't mean that it'l buy you your happiness.
Q: How come money has become a token for happiness? Why is that the only thing that people think will make them feel that way?
Quote: “there a worse forms of slavery" he said. Laura asked "why is everything getting so expensive? Competition doesn't seem to be working."
commentary: This quote really strikes me since there are so many elements that you have to consider. It was interesting to see that this relates to the effect of inflation. Around 50 years ago prices did get low, but incomes got lower too. In Order to see the best results you have to take out the impact of inflation on both.
Question: What does Sam mean when he says "what he shouldn't do is spend time to figure out how to gouge customers. Instead he should figure out how to serve customers."
*directed towards Bill Gates work motive
Quote: "People are constantly trying to find ways to make your life better"
Comment: I agreed with this quote, because it's true many times people are trying, so hard to make the technology around them better that they don't focus on each other as much, and have human interactions with each other.
Question: I wonder what would happen if technology got, advanced that people only communicated with a person face to face once a month.
“I’m willing to tolerate that degree of imperfection because when you tamper with a complex system, you often make things worse. That’s why so much regulation often hurts the people we’re trying to help. It’s like saying I think the rain forest doesn't make enough yellow flowers. You can artificially induce the rain forest to make more yellow flowers. But they may be scrawnier or less healthy. And you will have other unseen effects that you may not like. Because you have more yellow flowers, you may end up with less red ones that some lizard or frog or butterfly depends on.” (Roberts 79)
The butterfly effect, the snowball effect, the domino effect. We have come up with so many titles for this yet when we look at the economy and criticize our system we often don’t realize that these effects apply to the end result of the economy as well. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m a huge science fiction geek and one thing that I have learned is that if you go back in time even the smallest differences make big differences. The same goes with this case because for example, if we wanted to cut back on obesity in America by reducing the number of Carl's Jr's in each state this has a slight chance in reducing obesity but maybe families depended on the Carl's Jr across the street for food. Employees all around America would have lost their jobs, and more substantial and unpredictable damage could also appear. We always think that by trying to make things better we change ourselves or our surroundings for the good, when most of the time we are completely blind to the other side effects of our actions. I feel like I can see and understand how we tend to only look at the bright side of change when the first thing we should look for are the “unseen effects” that come from those forced changes.
This forced change is essentially like what happened with HealthNet and how they moved their factory to Mexico and how it created a devastating impact on the city. Referring back to the rain forest, let’s say that our society, our state, our country, our world, is our rain forest. Is there a way to change our rain forest so that we don’t create devastation? How in our society are we creating devastation in our rain forest? What are somethings that we have created in our society that is more damaging to our rain forest than it is beneficial?
Quote: "Hey I like stewing in resentment." she said smiling "Most people do. I just think a world without stewing is a sweeter place."
I found this quote very interesting. How would a world without resentment and the emotions and actions behind that look and function? I think that it would definitely allow for people to actually really look at themselves and focus on how to live more richly. I have seen time after time after time, the consequences of resentment, but also the benefits of it. If the civil rights movement hadn't happened due to an overflow of resentment, society would still be in the same stage as it was before the movement. Another example that I would like to use is the union, personally I think that it has to much power today than it should. But it got its start when many workers with the same experience and views agreed that they were being treated poorly, they resented not having a voice and wanting to rise above, which they did.
Question: Resentment is a necessary piece of life, but how are people going to control it?
Q: "But greed isn't the key to success. Who do you think will do a better job serving the customer? A greedy selfish pig that pretends to care about others,or a genuinely nice person that treats customers well with sincerity?"
"That's absurd, Sam. Nice people don't finish first in business"
C: People always see the business man/owner as a person that is either mean or nice. In the real world people need a mix of both, a person that can make decisions that could have negative impact on others but not to the extent to be mean or evil. People want a business man that treats others well but can have a thriving business. But it is generally seen that business men never are at a median when it is with morals and business but they are seen as mostly bad people who are greedy and just want money.
Q: How do you see a business man and in your standards what is a good business man
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.