Applying Economic Concepts in Psychology
Economic thought is of enormous use in psychology. An economist knows when someone is being unfairly compensated, falsely advertised to, stolen from, or slandered and injured in order to keep them in a raw deal. This essay will show some situations where economic concepts can be applied to social and interpersonal issues.
Economics of Abuse and Protectionism
In climate of freedom, people go to places or situations that are good for them. The place that is good for people will have more people wanting to enter than wanting to leave. The place that is bad for people will have more people wanting to leave than wanting to enter. The better the place, the less oppressive it has to be for the people to be in it. The worse the place, the more oppressive it will need to be in order to keep people from leaving.
The greater the legal, moral, psychological, economic, political or physical barriers are made to keep people from leaving, the greater is the evidence of the destructive character of the arrangement. A place that has worked out a livable lifestyle will not need to keep people from leaving, and those that do leave will be replaced by a greater number of people coming in. Whereas a place whose arrangement is destructive, oppressive, or injust, will need to do everything that it can to keep the people born in it or lured into it from going elsewhere. Thus, we see such done by the worst places in the world - places such as Afghanistan, Iran and the former Soviet Union - and the worst places in the First World - places such as right-wing small towns and conservative Muslim and Christian communities - and not done by places, such as New York, San Francisco, Melbourne, Montreal, Paris, and Amsterdam, where life is good and whose people have no reason for trying to escape.
The same is the case with families and relationships. A person who's good to his partner does not need to fear his partner leaving him; and if his partner does leave him, there will be others who are willing to take her place. Whereas a person who's bad to his partner has every reason to fear her wanting to get away. The more done by the person to control, oppress or undermine his partner, the greater the evidence of the arrangement being a raw deal for the partner, the more rightful she is in seeking to leave the arrangement. And the more obstacles put in the way of people seeking to do that - either by organs official or unofficial - the greater the evidence of a large-scale injustice contained in the arrangement.
Abuse and oppression are therefore not only an injustice in itself, but also evidence of a greater injustice. Abuse is an attempt to reduce the value of the person in order that the person acquiesce to a raw deal, as oppression is to keep the person in an unfair and wrongful place. The worst abuses are either done by the people who do not deserve to be with the other person in order to justify being with her when one knows that one does not deserve her, or by those who want to treat the partner like trash whatever her value relative to one's own. In both cases, we see evidence of injustice. And in both cases, the partner is right for seeking to leave the relationship.
The same is the case for societies, communities, families and religions. The worse the lot in which such put people, the more they will need to do in order to keep people from getting away. Whether this be done through overtly oppressive and brutal tactics or through the more subtle, more manipulative and less easily evidenced tactics, is a matter of tactical sophistication but not of characterological difference. The more we see done of this, whatever the tactics, the greater the evidence of the wrongful quality and wrongful character of the societies, communities, families or religions involved.
In the same way as trade distortions such as tariffs and quotas need to be put in place where the domestic producers are not competitive with foreign producers, so do distortions to people'snatural search for better deal need to be put in place where they are being treated injustly. The less competitive the domestic producer, the more trade distortions must be put in place to keep people buying from the domestic producer instead of from more efficient foreign competitors; the worse the deal for people, the more artificial obstacles must be put in place to keep them from leaving. This is as true for collective and individual levels both. And in both cases what we see is sure evidence of the unjust and wrongful quality of the arrangement.
Societies that are terrible for women - such as ones run by Islamists - will need to do everything in their power to deceive, beat down, disenfranchise, and sabotage women in order to keep control of them. And the person who's not willing to treat his wife right will likewise need to do the exact same thing. The more we see of this, the greater and more apparent the evidence of injustice and wrongfulness of the arrangement. And the greater the reason for people who care about such things as justice and rightfulness to help those at the receiving ends of the arrangement's injustice and wrongfulness to either escape or to better their lot.
Happiness Growth and Expectation Inflation
When a country has more monetary wealth, there are two paths that it can take. One is known as economic growth - of money being invested into producing real wealth. The other is known as inflation - of the money losing its value, things becoming more and more expensive, and the gain being squandered.
The same applies in human happiness. When state of affairs of any person improves, the two paths possible are happiness growth and expectation inflation.
In the first case, the person joyfully embraces the improvements and becomes a happier person. Remaining grateful and appreciative for what he has that he did not have previously, he exists in a happier mindstate. Any new improvements are likewise met joyfully and appreciatively. And the improvements are never taken for granted, but are appreciated in each case, resulting in ever greater happiness of the person.
In the case of expectation inflation, the person takes the new state of affairs for granted and begins to expects it. Instead of becoming happier, he requires more and more positive conditions to sustain the basic mental state. Sense of entitlement grows, requiring more and more to meet ever-growing expectations and making happiness ever more remote. The improvements are inflated away to feed the growing expectations. The demand grows out of control, necessities grow beyond all measure, and more is required to sustain basic level and more still for any level of happiness.
Both phenomena take place at the individual level as well as the collective. The current state ofexistence of most people in the First World would have been unthinkable to most people in history; and yet many take it for granted. Frequently it becomes worthwhile to show such people how life is elsewhere and how it has been before they have sufficient appreciation to value the life that they have and the efforts of hundreds of millions of people who made it possible.
One case of expectation inflation, taken to a thoroughly absurd extreme, can be found in the Australian men of father's lobby persuasion. My friend Dean, who has traveled to over 100 countries, wrote that Australia is the best place in the world to live. And yet Australian men of father's lobby persuasion blame the suicide rate among Australian men on feminism. This suicide rate cannot be based on political or economic conditions; otherwise most of the world, where political and economic conditions are nowhere nearly as good as they are in Australia, would have much higher rates of sucide. Nor can it be based, as Australian father's lobby types claim, on feminism; otherwise there will be far more suicide among men in America, where feminism is far more strident, more powerful and more extreme. The only possible explanation is that these men have absurd expectations of life - expectations that have inflated so far from reality that they cannot be met in the real world. If their expectations cannot be met in Australia, then they cannot be met anywhere, and the only solution is for these men to be made to know how good they have it by comparison to what people face in the rest of the world and also what was faced by their ancestors. Which may also give them appreciation for the liberal ideals and efforts of millions who made it possible for them to have the life that they have here.
Only then - when the overly-inflated expectations are shown for the folly that they are - can people develop the appreciative state of mind that is required for actual happiness. It is then that happiness can grow. And then these same people can become contributors to happiness of their families and of their country rather than its detractors. Which will be a far superior use of their resources than whining about feminism in one of the First World's least feminist countries,or taking away women's rights still further in a country known for violence against women, strident male chauvenism, and aggressively atrocious treatment of wives.
For happiness of people at both individual and collective level, it is necessary to encourage happiness growth and confront expectation inflation. In this the good is not wasted but is appreciated, and is affectuated improvement both in human condition and in people's experience of life. And then it in fact becomes a worthwhile endeavor to put in work to improve human condition, knowing that it will not be taken for granted but rather benefit people, and will not be inflated away into bloated sense of entitlement but rather lead to happiness in people who live and are yet to live.
False Advertising and the Culture of Insincerity
Another economic concept that's useful in human interaction is the concept of false advertising. In relationships, this problem becomes formative to destructive relationships, and a culture of insincerity results therefrom.
The false advertiser presents a genial front and acts nice and reasonable. Then when he has found the woman, and she is his, he turns into a monster. The people cannot believe that he does the things that he does, because according to the impression he gives to them he is a nice person. And the person against whom the perpetrator commits his abominations is blamed for all things that result, and is attacked even further if she tries to leave the perpetrator.
In business, advertising as one thing while having a different product is known as false advertisement. It is a crime, and one that is severely punished. But in relationships there is no clause about false advertising. Instead, the person at the receiving end of the abominations is blamed for all things, and is blamed even further if she tries to go on her own.
This of course results in tremendous ongoing hypocrisy and insincerity. And it is a hypocrisy and insincerity that requires for its perpetuation a destruction of sincerity wherever it can be found. Thus, the sincere woman is entrapped; the sincere man is seen as being fundamentally criminal. And it is through this attack on sincerity that the culture of false advertising and insincerity goes on.
Insincerity, for its continuation, requires further destruction of sincerity wherever it can be found. Thus, any true feeling, any true idea, any true existence, comes under vicious attack. And the result is a putrid swamp of falsehood and viciousness and hypocrisy that ensnares all the living. And then this swamp claims for itself the sanction of religion or of morality.
For this abomination to end, it becomes requisite to see all false advertising for what it is, and to instead demand truthful portrayal of self, of feeling, and of attitude. And then one more obstacle to truth and justice will be removed, resulting in a more truthful society and a more honest way of life.
Intercultural Relationships and Gender Fairness
Everybody thinks that they know what is justice, but what they conceive of as justice is different from place to place. The just-world hypothesis of different people in different places and times conceive of completely different kinds of justice. And it is by flux between people and places that any meaningful concept of what is justice can be attained.
In Muslim and rural Indian cultures, it is seen as justice that man bludgeon the woman into being his dog and kill her if she disobeys in the slightest. In American feminist culture, it is seen as justice that a woman treat men like garbage, get a coworker fired for sexual harrassment if he tells her she's good-looking, deal with all women who are nicer and prettier by abusing and sabotaging them and destroying their careers and relationships, abuse and emasculate any relationship partner, screw exes in court out of every cent they can get, claim that anyone who objects to such conduct is a misogynist or a bimbo, and aim to destroy as many men and beautifulwomen in one's life as one can and then claim oneself strong or smart or spiritual or a true servant of woman's cause. Both sets think that they are right and that what they are doing is justice. With such extremes in the world claiming themselves to be justice and righteousness, the way to arrive at any realistic notion of the preceding is for the real-world mechanism of people choosing each other based on how they are willing to treat each other to balance out whatever is believed in their respective homelands - and create a more informed conceptions of justice and a more balanced just-world hypothesis in every component part of the world.
It is ridiculous for Islamists in Middle East to claim to be speaking for justice; in Middle East, Islamists are the injustice. The same is true for the Dworkin-McKinnon types in United States. The in-good-faith feminists have a real point about behavior of men in Middle East and many other parts of the world (and some in the West), and Islamists about behavior of the not-in-good-faith ones among American women. But they both have much less of a point at home. On their home turfs, they apply a grossly imbalanced conception of justice pursuant a grossly slanted just-world hypothesis to shape the country's concept of justice into gravely distorted forms that lead to grave mistreatment of people - women or men - who have done the least to deserve it.
A positive match is created between men and women whose just-world hypotheses are a positive-sum situation. A man from a feminist culture, whose just-world hypothesis would be seen at home as slanted toward patriarchy but in most of the rest of the world would be seen as fairly matriarchial, and a woman from a patriarchial culture, whose just-world hypothesis is seen in her own country as feminist but would be seen in a feminist culture as patriarchial or equalist,have just-world hypotheses that are better than complementary and that therefore can create among them a positive-sum situation. Take a woman from the patriarchial culture, and put her together with a man from the feminist culture, and we see people who stand to treat one anotherbetter than they've ever been treated by other gender at home. As intercultural flux allows people to make matches based on what they see in each other and how they are willing to treat each other, is checked the wrong in each culture that caused the imbalance, and the graver wrong that is the mistreatment of either women or men in relationships in pursuit of that false concept of justice. And this creates a real-world mechanism toward creating social justice between men and women, as well as toward a goal that is just as important: Creating relationships between men and women where both parties appreciate one another and treat each other in a manner that merits their vows of love.
The global social injustice will be solved at least in part by large-scale intercultural, interracial and international flux of people for love and marriage. Bringing together the men from cultures where the concept of justice is an extreme of feminism with women from cultures where the concept of justice is an extreme of patriarchy - even people from cultures whose concepts of justice are not as extremely off-target but still noticeably apart - will bring together people who can appreciate one another, treat each other better than they are treated at home, and be seen by each other as positive influence and an improvement upon what they had to deal with. It will also create a real world check-and-balance upon the tendency of societies - all societies - to go injust in one or another direction at the expense of one or another group.
There were many people for a long time who believed that economic justice around the world would be achieved by Communism. In fact global capitalism did a much better and faster job by allowing billions of people in places like China and India to rise out of poverty using their own efforts with global market for their goods. And it is international flux for purpose of marriage that has real possibility of doing the same for social justice - while also creating many marriages along the way where people have genuine appreciation for one another and treat each other in commensurate way.
Global economy made it possible for international business to move across borders to find people who want to work and know how to work, and for people to move across the borders to find employers who constructively use and rightfully reward their endeavor. This resulted in over a billion of people rising out of poverty in less than three decades and businesses having better and more affordable products that benefited consumers and business itself. By similar mechanism, the men and women being free to move across borders to find people who would treat them better than they are treated at home results in tremendous improvement in people's relationships, as well as improvement in gender fairness.
But far more importantly, it creates a real-world incentive for people in all societies to treat their partners - men or women - in rightful manner, for knowing that there are other people around the world who would treat them well if they do not. And this breaks the stranglehold of local oppressors and thugs - both thugs of muscle and thugs of morality - who want to keep one or another group in their cultures in shackles so that they can be guiltlessly and without consequence mistreated.
Protectionism - attempt by rich countries to create walls against international products - has been described as bullying and extortion. The consumer is being extorted, and the working people around the world are being bullied, by the rich country attempting to protect unearned privilege of some of its workers at everybody else's expense. The communities that want to deny their citizens the right to make interracial, intercultural or international matches, are likewise using extortion and bullying to protect unearned privilege - such as the unearned privilege of Middle Eastern or rural Indian men to treat women like cattle, to throw vitriol in their faces, and to execute them in case they do not obey their every idiotic command. Like tariffs and quotas of the protectionists are used to maintain economic imbalance, so the violence, moral thuggery, and oppressive laws, are used to sustain social injustice. And just as in case of protectionism, where the greater the economic imbalance the higher the obstacles that are required to sustain it, so the greater the scale of violence, moral thuggery, and oppressive legislation, the greater the social injustice and the graver the system abuse.
There are many people who falsely claim that protectionism is more moral than global economy. It is not; it is bullying and extortion against one's citizens and against the world to protect unearned privilege. The same is also true of efforts by any local entity at any level to keep people from marrying people external to itself. If a country or a community constructs walls against intercultural, inter- ethnic or international marriage, then it is performing bullying and extortion against its own citizens and against the rest of the world, in order to keep its citizens chained to partners who want the unearned privilege of treating them like trash.
The greater the scale of economic imbalance, the greater the need for protective barriers. And the greater the scale of social imbalance, the more artificial barriers are required to keep it in place. Thus, the greatest amount of violence, threats, moral bludgeoning, character assassination, psychological abuse and oppressive legislation will be expected to be, and is, done by the communities that are the most gravely injust and abusive - and to the least extent by the communities that are the least abusive and least injust.
It takes more barriers to keep people from leaving a raw deal than it does to keep them from leaving a fair deal. From this follows that the greater the obstacles placed by the culture to women or men finding partners elsewhere, the greater the systemic injustice that they embody. The more abuse, violence, legal oppression and moral bludgeoning is directed against one or another group, the greater the injustice that is perpetuated against them. The greater the actual need for intercultural, interracial or international flux in order to rectify the imbalance.
The people are bullied into lives they would never have chosen if they were aware of the true range of options before them, and are kept there by oppressive laws that want to make a commitment based on inadequate knowledge and false advertising life-long. That state of affairs is falsely regarded as being moral. It is not moral state of affairs; it is a state of affairs based on systemic injustice. The disadvantaged are kept to inhuman treatment and denied relationships with people who would treat them better, and the people around the world are kept from partaking of what they have to offer, all in order to defend unearned privilege of the wrongly advantaged class to abuse the oppressed.
Thus, the people who are against intercultural matches in cultures such as the Muslim scream about tradition and morality. The real reason they are against such matches is that they want to abuse women as much as they want to abuse women, and for the women to have no other options but to put up with living hell that is life as a woman in Middle East. The people who attack such matches in feminist cultures claim all kinds of silliness as well. The real reason is that they want to treat men like trash, and for the men to have no possibility but to take it. In both cases, the resistance to international relationships is a result of systemic wrong that leads to systemic imbalance. And it is this wrong that is checked and balanced by the real-world mechanism of people being meaningfully free to choose their partners in parts of the world that are not formulated by the same systemic imbalances and the wrongful mistreatment of one or another gender that these imbalances create. Like barriers to trade being evidence of artificially maintained economic imbalance, these actions are evidence of artificially maintained imbalance in the society.
The more we see done of all or any such things, the more the intended or the accomplished injustice, the more apparent is the injustice perpetuated by the partner who does these things.
Which means that abuse in relationships is more likely to be done not for the things that are wrong in the partner, but for things that are right in them. And the greater the amount of any such violence, the more we see the injustice that one commits or intends to commit.
In the same way as global economy provides a way for workers around the world to rise out of poverty - and for entrepreneurs to have access to people who are willing and able to work effectively - so do international matches allow a way for women from cultures slanted against women and men from cultures slanted against men to create matches with people from whom they can expect better treatment that in home societies, and whom they likewise will treat in ways better than they are treated at home. The women from cultures where women treat men right but are mistreated by men in their own homeland - and men from cultures where men treat women right but women do not treat men right - find in each other better treatment than they could hope for in partners from their own communities. Not only are beautiful matches created, but social imbalances are rectified, and people in the communities are shown how truly loving, mutually appreciative and mutually respectful relationships can be made real. In this are created two positives, and rectified many negatives. The positive of mutually appreciative, mutually positive matches and positive influence that they exert on the disadvantaged group in society - and the negative of the wrong that creates social imbalances and the abusive ways that maintain the wrong.
Thus international relationships therefore work for freedom, fairness, and good treatment by men and women of one another in relationships. And that is a valuable and meaningful good toward which it is worthy to aspire for men and women around the world.