March 16, 2006
An economics blog with general interest features from an island once known to most Americans only as a game-board question.
We'll be taking a look at Fazeer Sheik Rahim. It's not clear whether "Sheik" is religious, or a generic honorific for a teacher rather like "Sensei" in Japan. One world now, and a darn interesting one.
Though regarding his analysis,
it's not clear that a market's strategically postponing the best product, at least
for awhile, contradicts the general welfare, "may not lead to the best of outcomes." Our local cut-rate home-accessories
shop, Tuesday Morning, holds back some of the good stuff to bring customers back midway during its "open" seasons. Increases traffic, rewards the strategizers, in general keeping customers interested a Good Thing as part of the profit motive.
Via Marginal Revolution
And as for social commentary, of what is this eloquent?
Sadly, when I tell my students that they should understand simple market mechanisms at work around them, before they go on to study fancy derivative or commodity markets from the other side of the world, some look at me with staring eyes.
I would hazard that this is the iceberg tip of an attitude among students, essentially non-democratic, that the ordinary, that common people, that, heaven forfend, children, do not generate "important" material. That the students study to become a caste apart, rather than to enhance the actual community of which they are a part.
That is, which ways of thinking are thrilled by Leavitt and Gladwell, the close analysis of social grass and dirt, the traffic patterns on West 36th Street? And which want to construct a cardboard Versailles, rather than cantilevering steel-reinforced hardened mud for amazing new homes in the customary style, which may change as the medium and its possibilities change?
Is this too harsh? Anyone with actual experience of students outside W. Europe and the Anglosphere is invited to share his/her relevant observations.