The mashup to the left is with thanks to the Vancouver Price Drop blogger who has been tracking the behaviour of Vancouver vendors who are chasing the market down as purchaser sentiment switches. They can't help themselves. The sample price drop building reminded me of New York where the term "jonesing" is said to have originated and the news item of Cory Weeds closing The Cellar Jazz Club reminded me that Vancouver ain't New York no matter what the condo brochure says. Why did everyone take on historic levels of debt just to live in inefficient housing units? Watch the 12.39min video explanation below by Belabed & Theobald of how the middle class, has just been trying to keep up with the consumption norms of the upper class, which kept expanding as more aggregate income flowed upwards. In other words you have depleted your savings and borrowed as much as you could because you have been jonesing to keep up with the Jones'.
Now listen to Sam Harris' 12.10min video explanation of how the illusion of Free Will can have you behaving against your own best interests. Finally enjoy Bob Dylan's live performance 6.52min video of the Ballad of the Thin Man.
Christian Belabed and Thomas Theobald: Inequality and the Current Account
Relative Income Hypothesis
Most economists think about aggregate consumption through the lens of Friedman’s permanent income hypothesis or Modigliani’s life-cycle hypothesis. But long ago there was a third contender, Duesenberry’s relative income hypothesis, which argued that household consumption decisions are powerfully shaped by the behavior of their reference group.
Institute for New Economic Thinking grantees Christian Belabed and Thomas Theobald and their co-authors have revived this old theory as a hypothesis to explain the apparent statistical link between rising income inequality and current account deficits. The middle class, so the argument goes, is just trying to keep up with the consumption norms of the upper class, which keep expanding as more aggregate income flows upward.
Duesenberry’s hypothesis arose from a melding of ideas from social psychology with ideas from economics. Revising his hypothesis is one way to bring economics back into contact with psychology and help the discipline get closer to understanding realistic conceptions of human behavior. That’s new economic thinking.
"Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it. In Free Will, Sam Harris combines neuroscience and psychology to lay this illusion to rest at last. Like all of Harris’s books, this one will not only unsettle you but make you think deeply. Read it: you have no choice."
Jerry A. Coyne, Professor of Ecology and Evolution at The University of Chicago, and author of Why Evolution is True.
First released on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited in 1965.
"You know something is happening but you don't know what it is, do you Mr Jones"
The id (German: Es) is the unorganized part of the personality structure that contains a human's basic, instinctual drives. Id is the only component of personality that is present from birth. It is the source of our bodily needs, wants, desires, and impulses, particularly our sexual and aggressive drives. The id contains the libido, which is the primary source of instinctual force that is unresponsive to the demands of reality. The id acts according to the "pleasure principle"—the psychic force that motivates the tendency to seek immediate gratification of any impulse—defined as, seeking to avoid pain or unpleasure (not 'displeasure') aroused by increases in instinctual tension. If the mind was solely guided by the id, individuals would find it difficult to wait patiently at a restaurant, while feeling hungry, and would most likely grab food from neighbouring tables. (Wikipedia)