Profits and Losses

The terms ‘profits’ and ‘losses’ are common parts of the business vernacular.  However, many people don’t fully understand their role in a market economy.  This has become even more pronounced after the recent financial crisis.  To date, the government has attempted to perpetuate a system of profits without losses.  The problem with trying to build a market economy without both profits and losses is that it will inevitably lead to one of two extremely undesirable results.

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The Greed Scapegoat

In the aftermath crisis of 2008, a common explanation is that “greed” caused the collapse.  When thinking about this explanation in some more depth, one must consider that in order for “greed” to be the reason behind the collapse, then people would need to have become abruptly more greedy than normal.

The contrary view is that if greed is a constant function. (meaning that people do not become more or less greedy over time) There are most certainly people who are highly greedy and others who are less greedy.  However, it seems quite unlikely that people would become abruptly more or less greedy than their natural disposition.

Is it possible that greed is being used as an easy answer to distract attention away from what really caused the problems?

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From “If” to “How”

One of the things that we like to do is human beings is to fantasize about how our lives would be different if something were different.  It turns out that this mode of thinking produces two distinctive outputs.  The first is that it allows our minds to drift into a world where events unfold exactly as we would like.  The second is that by using the word if, it absolves our minds of any responsibility for making our dreams a reality.

The effect is very subtle, but it is still very powerful.  By thinking about our life if our dreams became reality, it sub-consciously reinforces the belief that our dreams will stay dreams.  A much more productive mode of thought is to consider how we can traverse the distance from where our current mode in life to where we want to be.  This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t dream about what life could be like, and use that as a vision to inspire our actions.  It simply means that we should not give ourselves an easy way out of failing to achieve our dreams.

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The Myth of Objectivity

In the context of news and media, there is a popular belief that journalists and reporters are ethically bound to avoid injecting any of their personal opinions into their work.  This assumption leads many people into a blind belief of anything that is reported by the news agencies.  The unfortunate impact of this phenomenon is that so many people accept what is reported to them in the news without any skepticism or question that it is quite possible for the masses to be manipulated.

In the world that we live in, total separation of thought and action is not possible.  This means that the personal views & opinions of news journalists cannot be prevented from reflection in their actions.  Because of this, objectivity is really a myth that is propagated to create a false sense of trust in news reporting.  The unfortunate result is a large amount of people who allow the television, newspaper, or radio to do their thinking for them.

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