Friday, May 25, 2012

Econ Club Minutes - May 25th

The Econ Club is progressing according to a plan. Here are the tasks that we decided on at the last meeting:

  • Nick will wrestle control of the Facebook away from Patrick Emerson
  • Vivian will look into having a presentation on graduate school next week if there is enough interest.
  • Everyone will work on developing a library for the econ lab. Jesus/Joe will work on cleaning the shelf in the break room and eventually move it into the econ lab
  • Jesus will send out an email about upcoming seminars
  • Josh will work on keeping track of econ alumni  
  • Jesus will run meetings more professionally
  • Mervin is taking minutes at meetings
  • Mervin will also evaluate whether Facebook or Blackboard is a better medium for the Club's communication
  • Nick will hassle Mai to start going to the Econ Club again
  • Pratchet is writing a rebuttal to the gender discrimination post that was posted on the barometer earlier this week
The price of failure is to purchase a YOLO coozie and bottle opener from Pratchet.

The gender wage gap not based on discrimination - The Daily Barometer

The gender wage gap not based on discrimination - The Daily Barometer

So this article was brought up at the last econ club meeting, and some of the members thought it would be interesting to write a rebuttal to this. Also, we may be able to convince the author of the article to go to the econ club next meeting.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Club Meeting on Feb 3rd

We're meeting this Friday, Feb 3rd 5pm @ McMenamins. Joining us this week is Professor Schroeder.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Is it the same? Also econ club at the bottom

Are these two scenarios the same?

A) You work and earn 50 dollars. You spend that money to buy socks, and you're given a fifty dollar toy that enriches your life.

B) You work and earn 50 dollars. You spend that money on a toy that enriches your life, and you're given a gift of 50 dollars worth of socks.

I had an argument with Professor Stone on this. Rationally, these two outcomes are the same; in both you end up with 50 dollars in stocks and 50 dollars in toys. However, I argue that, for homo sapiens instead of homo economicus, the scenarios are not the same. One is clearly better for you than the other.

As econ students, we're taught that people convert their leisure into work, and through that work they receive an income which they then convert to goods and services. Because of this idea, I believe it matters to people how they spend their money versus what they receive as gifts. Especially if your job is demeaning and life has lost its purpose and joy, buying necessities using your income is doubly defeating. You are giving up a part of your life to buy things to sustain a life already joyless. The only thing that keeps you going is an endowment of something enriching like a toy at Christmas. This is the world of scenario A.

Although the material outcome of scenario B is the same, the story and the agent's satisfaction with life are different. The same demeaning work is not used to perpetuate a dreary life. Instead the work goes towards a good which the agent genuinely values. The necessities to continue living are taken care of by a gift.

Not only are the scenarios different, I would argue that B is preferable to A. At this time in many of our lives as college students with low income jobs, I claim that we should be grateful for gifts of socks and tooth paste and other necessities so that it frees up our income to buy things that will be meaningful to our lives. Work is so much more palatable a sacrifice when I think that it's going towards an opera ticket versus next month's gas & electric bill.

So are these scenarios the same to you? Or would you prefer to receive gifts of luxury while converting your work into necessities? Or am I overthinking this whole thing because I've been spending too much time in economics?

Econ club will be meeting this Thursday, Jan 26th with Professor Stone at 5pm upstairs in McMenamins.

Monday, November 28, 2011

For real this time: Club meeting with Prof. McGough!

Econ club is meeting at our standard time, this Thursday (Dec 1st) at 5pm upstairs at the Monroe McMenamins. Professor McGough should be joining us unless he decides again that his kids are more worthwhile.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Club Meeting with Professor Bruce McGough

Professor Bruce McGough, the Department's macroeconomist and boogeyman, will be joining Econ Club on Thursday Nov 10, at 5pm at McMenamins. As usual, we will be meeting upstairs. Come for entertaining and raucous discussion!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

CORRECTION! Change in Meeting Place and Time

Tomorrow's meeting will start @ 4:30pm in McMenamins on Monroe.