Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Tradeoffs not solutions,

Economics can put someone to sleep (even me), if not explained in a simple and thought provoking way. So I work hard at helping people see that the basics are all that a person must understand to grasp economics. One basic rule to remember is there are no solutions only tradeoffs. For example if I have high blood pressure, I can take medicine.....some would call that a solution to my problem, but what they overlook is that taking medicine has the cost of side effects; some of which could lead to death. But weighing my risks the greater risk would be to not take anything; consequently I take the medicine with the small risk of harmful side-effects.

I can also choose to not buy mother anything for Mothers' Day this week. I would save money for me, but also create a unhappy mother. If I can eliminate the guilt and frustration of having a unhappy mother, I can benefit by saving money. But since I value my mother's happiness more than a $10 bill in my pocket right now; I'll buy her something. I will satisfy my want of mom's happiness, and her want of a Mothers' Day gift.