You’ve Got the Power

People are stupid—at least from the standpoint of economics. In general, people are fairly ignorant of much else outside of their bubble (myself included). Unsurprisingly, markets are one of the most misunderstood things on this planet.

A market appears when buyers and sellers interact to exchange a specific good or service. This market may either be a physical marketplace where people come together to exchange goods and services in person (e.g., a shopping center), or a virtual market where buyers and sellers do not physically interact (e.g., Amazon).

The key terms are buyers and sellers. Every market has two sides. Some markets are green, some are black, some don’t exist in physical space. But the only reason a market exists is because someone demanded it at a price in which another would provide it at. Markets are people, nothing more nothing less. Since we can remember, we’ve used the power of complex laws to control markets and determine which of them are “good” or “bad.” Yet—since the dawn of man—people, have had the power all along!

 

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That power is called money, greenbacks, dollars, moohlah, bacon, benjamins, cheddar, cash, etc.— and it’s the middle man of any transaction. What people don’t get is you have the power to influence which markets exist and which ones don’t, based on where you spend your money. If you don’t like something, say Chinese-made goods, stop buying the Chinese-made products. Stop being lazy, do the research, and find out where the products are made. You have the power. If you’re angrily #NeverTrump-ing on your spare time, instead of yelling at a computer screen or going to weird, and frankly ineffective protests, stop buying his properties, staying at his hotels, and buying products from his subsidiaries.

 

If you want to hit ‘em where it hurts, stop giving ‘em money. Tell yo friends.

The power lies with your decisions, and those decisions have consequences. But at the same time, just because you don’t like a market doesn’t mean you should stop two voluntary adult individuals from doing a transaction on their own. Persuading is better than prohibiting. Persuading can be done with our words, but the power is still with our money. We live in a world where people have more power than they think.

 

If you don’t want x to happen, don’t support x in any way, especially with your money. However, as the chart below displays, this is no easy task.

web of corps

And this is just nine parent companies; there are 100s of corporations with subsidiaries around the globe. This is what I meant this not being an easy task. It’s kind of like being a vegan. You decide to cut all animal products out of your life and realize that animals make their way into almost all the food we eat. In any case, with swaths of information at our fingertips, if you decide to trash something, make sure you’re not actually supporting them by giving them your money.

You have the power; you just have to learn how markets work. Economics studies human action to better understand the world. Markets reflect people in that they arise from people taking action, like where they decide to spend their money. Allowing people to do this freely is what the free market entails. Prohibiting people from directing their money and their action to where they see fit limits the power individuals possess to dictate which markets thrive or fail.

If the individuals that are unhappy with something were to understand their own power, individuals can collectively correct the problem or end the source altogether. Don’t be stupid—look beyond the pundits, the Facebook feeds, and news headlines. Realize that you have the ultimate power in markets and you can make a significant impact in shaping the world.

 

 

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