View Full Version : Why do People Buy Things They Don't Need?


§outh§tar
03-19-05, 10:22 AM
What motivates buyers to shell out money because some 30 sec commercial said so? We've all seen the "place your order now and get your free towel!" ads and wondered who'd be stupid enough to fall for them. But the madness doesn't stop there. People at the counter will at the last second grab a useless magazine, a bag of sweets, or even a key chain for no reason at all.

Does the consumer buy for fun? Do we just buy to look better off than our peers? Or is there subliminal messaging still going on in advertisements? :bugeye:

I think if we understand the motivation, we can better understand how to manipulate demand. Thoughts?

Brian Foley
03-19-05, 01:30 PM
I think it is a sub conscience reaction from the consumer to not passing up a bargain . When I go out downtown and see a linen bedset for half price I would buy it even though I didnt really need too . Mind you I have disciplined myself through experience not to do this anymore I just buy what I require and when I need it .

otheadp
03-19-05, 04:03 PM
marketing and advertising are basically propaganda campaigns. only the propaganda is not about the evils of another country, but about how good product A is, how much you need it, how shopping in general is good (apparently, now shopping is a 'therapy' [???]), etc.

it really is disgusting. the system is such now that a company will have a better marketing campaign than the product that it sells. and individual companies can't help it - they have to provide equal propaganda or their products, even if better, simply won't sell.

that's one of the things i really dislike about capitalism.

why do we keep buying? because we are helpless to stand against the assault on our senses. well, most of us. the pattern of shopping for new things is a normal distribution.

marv
03-19-05, 04:26 PM
I buy what I want when I need it. If I find a sale or a good price on something that I need or use on a regular basis, I stock up. I'm pretty immune to these "...only $19.95, and if you call in the next 10 minutes, we'll..." TV ads or "loss leaders" in stores.

daydream_believer
03-19-05, 05:39 PM
Because the majority of the human race is easily manipulated and foolish. Mundanians (a useful term I dsicovered to describe the masses) buy what they're told to buy and don't think about why they do it.

That sounds very elitist, doesn't it?

But it's intellectual elitism, something I've never pretended not to take part in.

Baron Max
03-19-05, 06:31 PM
I think if we understand the motivation, we can better understand how to manipulate demand. Thoughts?

Now that's strange! Your basic post is a rant about advertisers manipulating the buying public, yet that's exactly what you're wanting to do, too. ...and you don't see any hypocrisy in that???

Baron Max

§outh§tar
03-19-05, 06:46 PM
Now that's strange! Your basic post is a rant about advertisers manipulating the buying public, yet that's exactly what you're wanting to do, too. ...and you don't see any hypocrisy in that???

Baron Max

As otheadp clearly pointed out, I can hate it all I want. But in the end, I too, want the moo-lah in my pocket.

"Simple economics"

Will be back later to post.

marv
03-20-05, 08:06 AM
Some people have trouble differentiating between "want" and "need".

Some people feel they "need" only because they don't already "have".

duendy
03-20-05, 10:25 AM
What motivates buyers to shell out money because some 30 sec commercial said so? We've all seen the "place your order now and get your free towel!" ads and wondered who'd be stupid enough to fall for them. But the madness doesn't stop there. People at the counter will at the last second grab a useless magazine, a bag of sweets, or even a key chain for no reason at all.

Does the consumer buy for fun? Do we just buy to look better off than our peers? Or is there subliminal messaging still going on in advertisements? :bugeye:

I think if we understand the motivation, we can better understand how to manipulate demand. Thoughts?

In order to really explore this question you M U S T checkout about Edward Bernays. He was the nephew of Sigmund Freud, and used his uncles psychoanalytical theories to promote a manipulative strategy aimed at people so they would/will buy what they dont need!...He is called the Father of Spin,
basically it is a manipulation of desire, hence the use of sexual imagery etc so as to sell products

a particular pernicious technique--i was reading about the other day--as its aimed at little children is this: they put cartoon characters of the kids fave programmes (the ones they push at em) on the front of packets of cerals etc, which are saturated with sugar and salt and very deleterious for the health of the children. Then they stick them at child's height so the kids will badger their mums to but the crap. Evil

Baron Max
03-20-05, 12:07 PM
..., I can hate it all I want. But in the end, I too, want the moo-lah in my pocket.

And you don't see anything wrong with being a hypocrite?

Baron Max

marv
03-20-05, 01:46 PM
Then they stick them at child's height so the kids will badger their mums to but the crap. Evil...What's evil about that? It's called "marketing". Parents, that is "real" parents, don't have to listen to their children.

Brand names with the highest quality and the highest mark-up are usually placed at eye level to adults. Less expensive store brands, with quality almost as good, are stacked on the top or bottom shelves. It's the dumb shoppers that can't figure that out. Caveat emptor.

otheadp
03-20-05, 02:01 PM
Some people have trouble differentiating between "want" and "need".


the job of the marketer, following the bottom line, is to make the consumer believe, via relentless propaganda, that the want is in fact a need.

then there's that thing, i think it's called the technological imparative - what we used to think of as a nice convenience, once we start using it, becomes a necessity.

the marketer's job is to turn it into a necessity. once you think of it as a necessity, then the fair transaction can be made. i.e. he provides you something you need, and you pay a fair amount for it. tho before the propaganda you don't really need it and he's just being pushy with his useless products.

otheadp
03-20-05, 02:09 PM
one new concept i saw on TV recently, a corn-flakes brand introduced the concept of "comfort food"
i.e. everyone should have a certain food that they eat when they're down. and their product is the ultimate comfort food because A B and C

so you don't eat conflakes cause you're hungry or cause it tastes good, but because it's g-ddamn comfort food. your comfort directly relates to their corn-flakes! what are they going to come up with next?

Xerxes
03-20-05, 03:44 PM
People buy things they don't need because they believe -sometimes rightfully- that the items will improve their quality of life. Voluntary simplicity only goes so far.

*$I buy music CD's for their superior quality to mp3.

*$I buy my own books over ebooks because they're easier on the eyes and library fines usually amount to the price of books anyways

*$Money is an unstable form of wealth. If I had enough, I would keep it in the form of bullion. Even though its useless to me. It doesn't depreciate in value.

Odin'Izm
03-20-05, 04:17 PM
Why do people buy things they dont need: capitolist instinct = hunger for ownership of property.

marv
03-20-05, 05:43 PM
People buy things they don't need because they believe -sometimes rightfully- that the items will improve their quality of life....so...
...I buy music CD's for their superior quality to mp3....inferring that MP3 somehow contributes to the quality of your life...?

Just out of curiousity, how many of you "need" cell phones, MP3's, PlayStations, etc? Do you really need the computer you're using to post to sciforums? Or have you just convinced yourselves that they are necessities.

If you've been duped by the manufacturer's "propaganda" into thinking you can't get along without them, trash them. Otherwise, maybe you're just a dumb consumer who can't resist marketing. Try dividing the things you own into "necessities", "convieniences" and "toys". Then ask why do YOU buy the things you have.

Fraggle Rocker
03-20-05, 05:47 PM
Buying is like eating. These days, most people in prosperous nations don't eat because they're hungry and require nutrition. They eat something particular because it tastes good, or they have a meal in order to socialize, or they eat because it takes their mind off of their problems. Generalized "consumption" of any sort fills the same need. It feels good to watch some wonderful gizmo go into a bag and become yours. You feel like one of the guys or gals by buying the same things they buy. You can stop worrying about your love life or your kid's bad grades or your long commute for a moment by spending some money in the mall.

Shopping has even acquired one of the same psychoses as eating. People buy stuff and then take it back for a refund. The home shopping TV channels have lists of people they've had to blackball because of too many returns. Many stores have similar but shorter lists. Since these purchases are invariably performed with credit cards that barely have any limit left, I call it "bulimia plastica."

Xerxes
03-20-05, 06:12 PM
...inferring that MP3 somehow contributes to the quality of your life...?

Absolutely. Anything that I spend enough time using affects the quality of my life. So I want good quality. I also do it to show my appreciation to the band. It has nothing to do with compulsive buying

marv
03-20-05, 07:23 PM
Does the consumer buy for fun?Xerxes, you sound like the ultimate consumer! "Quality of life" = "just having fun". And just how does the "band" show your appreciation for them? By selling you more CD's?

Xerxes
03-20-05, 08:12 PM
Having fun is a huge part of 'Quality of life'. But the fun is not in the buying of the music, and I'm not a hedonist.

Any CD's I buy contain almost no filler. Bands show their appreciation by continuing to make good music (granted they're still around.)

Gambit Star
03-20-05, 11:29 PM
I think the majority of the reason is due to the sub-concious subliminal effort.

When we see a special on TV we have automatically assumed that this is something important and it is one of sale (when the company are just running specials becuase their products are still sitting in the stores).

And since we are a species that revolve mostly around what we want instead of what we need we do stupid things to try and create a illusive controlled sub-concious manner that can be associated with how we "show off" in the social stance.

All us humans really need are the basics of food, water, shelter, clothing....

but even then..... how many out of those catergories do we also exploit ?

whitewolf
03-20-05, 11:51 PM
In America, it's part of the mentality of "sooner, faster, bigger, more," which is promoted every second on television. Remember seeing these dainty pretty girls in movies or commercials who are rich and are carrying huge shopping bags and boxes? Do those bags and boxes make it look like they bought a lot, eventhough it's like a tiny tank top per box? When you walk into a supermarket, you see huge shopping carts in which you can fit practically everything in the store, and then you can simply dump it in the back of your spacious minivan. Even the boxes in which the food is sold are spacious and flashy (tasteless, really) to make it seem like there's a lot inside.

TruthSeeker
03-21-05, 11:09 AM
Why do People Buy Things They Don't Need?
Because TV tells them so.... :rolleyes:

marv
03-21-05, 11:52 AM
The only really big suckers I see for advertising are women who buy every imaginable cosmetic they can find. Now you can put lipstick on a pig, but.............

TruthSeeker
03-21-05, 12:33 PM
It is far from just that. I have seen beer cans that sing the Canadian hymn when you open them..... :eek:

marv
03-21-05, 02:12 PM
....ah! Only in Canada........:D But are they advertising beer? Or maybe Canada!

TruthSeeker
03-21-05, 02:25 PM
:D :D

spidergoat
03-21-05, 03:17 PM
In our ancient and natural environment, we would grab anything that pleases or interests us. Why stop now, just because there isn't any fruit to pick, or butterfly to look at?

Why only buy things you need? Of what possible use is money that you never spend?

marv
03-21-05, 04:07 PM
Burial expenses..........!

tonic
03-21-05, 07:01 PM
[QUOTE=marv]What's evil about that? It's called "marketing". Parents, that is "real" parents, don't have to listen to their children.

thats not fair at all- a child is exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of branding images a day. how can a parent compete with that?
your child is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket because you won't buy sugar loops or whatever, and the easiest way to get them to cooperate is to buy them. marketers know that, they know that a child nagging is a hugely powerful tool.

Gambit Star
03-21-05, 09:53 PM
It is quite ironic how womens cosmetics advertisments have a following slogan saying " be natural " after applying and scientifically chemical formula that is made by machines and minerals used dug out of the ground.

Or how men and women have to have the best shaver and have to have that perfect hairless " Im a good person " image.
When hair grows naturally.

duendy
03-22-05, 02:58 AM
In our ancient and natural environment, we would grab anything that pleases or interests us. Why stop now, just because there isn't any fruit to pick, or butterfly to look at?

Why only buy things you need? Of what possible use is money that you never spend?


spidergoat....am surprised at you askin this. other insights of yours i've gelled with

why? CONSUMERISM. eating up Earth's limited resources.

buying all kinds of gadgetry that leaves a toxic shit that other poorer people, and other species have to live on top of

And when these people buy this crap, sooner than later they dump it and buy the latest model

Native Americans when killing a Buffalo, used to use EVERY bit of the animal

Now many Native Americans live on top of whiteman's toxic dumping sites

just a few example of the utter idiocy, ignorance, and self-destructive consumerism

All a person has to do is see through the mdeia game. SEE through it. when i watch ads most i dont even know what they're selling. truly. i HATe ads, but sometimes you cant avoid them. i am looking at graphics and the dodgy acting etc. but they dont get me, not even on a subliminal level. if i can do it sos can you

vslayer
03-22-05, 04:32 AM
i buy only what i need and could get recreational benefit from. consumerism comes form people having too much money. if you only earn $300 a week then you dont buy extra stuff, that soon becomes a habit.

therefore: all peopl sholud have a 5 year period where their income is capped at a low but reasonable rate, they will then get into the habit of only buying what they need, no extra pointless things

Baron Max
03-22-05, 06:37 AM
therefore: all peopl sholud have a 5 year period where their income is capped at a low but reasonable rate, they will then get into the habit of only buying what they need, no extra pointless things

So you propose a totalitarian dictatorship and strip the people of their money and their freedoms so they won't ....what... buy things they don't need??? Ain't that a little stiff?

People/idealists are always trying to force their own ideals onto others and, somehow, they can't see how wrong that is. Why?

Baron Max

spidergoat
03-22-05, 11:15 AM
spidergoat....am surprised at you askin this. other insights of yours i've gelled with why? CONSUMERISM. eating up Earth's limited resources. buying all kinds of gadgetry that leaves a toxic shit that other poorer people, and other species have to live on top of
And when these people buy this crap, ...

I'm playing devil's advocate to a degree, trying to pin down what is wrong with the act of buying things. Nothing in itself that I can see. The only problem is toxic waste, pollution, waste of natural resources. Also, perhaps, buying just for the sake of buying, which is a sign of unhappiness. But, what is wrong with an artist creating a sculture, and someone else buying it? It's useless, to be sure, but not bad for the environment. It also enriches our experience of life. I tend to feel that our society is not flawed to the core, it just needs some adjustment here and there.

A great movie that addresses this issue, which I just saw, was George Lucas' THX 1138 (the director's cut). In that society, you bought a useless object, brought it home, and placed it in the recycling receptacle.

But, what about a traditional market, like you might find in Africa or something? Is that also consumerism?

duendy
03-22-05, 11:50 AM
Let me remind you...enCOURAGE you....pleeeease?...to sresearch about Edward Bernays. you see, ther'd have been no NEEd for him and the spin he introduced if it'df always been the case of people just buying for the sake of buying.

as i briefly mentioned, this spin is heavily thought out...usaing psychological techniques that manipulate 'secretly (if you dont believe me, read all about it) peoples desires. this makes people feel that to fulfill desire they need to buy. our whole capitalist culture is based on keeping this need and buying going on and on
this doesn't mean it's WRONG to buy ...but it introduces the insight as to WHY you buy. really explore that dude spidergoat. it's really important for this subject

Xerxes
03-22-05, 12:56 PM
Another thing I want to point out.

People criticize me for saying that shiny music CD's improve the quality of my life. But what would've happened if our ancestors never played with beads or made tiny sculpture out of soapstone? Even though it was unnecessary to survival and a 'waste' of energy, its the reason homo sapiens survived and neanderthals didn't.

Sebastian B.
03-22-05, 04:21 PM
I wouldnt say that buying unecessary things is a sign of unhappiness. Maybe a sign of boredom, and a lot of extra money, but i doubt anything more. Some people simply get pleasure out of the purchase of material things, just like others may get pleasure out of skiing or climbing a mountain. I know many people like this and they are fine, psychologically. Like others stated, it is simply a byproduct of our consumerist culture. The way i saw this in action however was more therapeutic, they would go shop when feeling bad, and then feel happy again...

duendy
03-22-05, 05:07 PM
I wouldnt say that buying unecessary things is a sign of unhappiness.

d))Yes. t's because they are not happy. when it's compulsive, and manipulated by 'secret' propaganda that inSTILLS dis-satisfaction/un-happiness in the deep brain.

Maybe a sign of boredom, and a lot of extra money, but i doubt anything more.

d))So boredom is HAPPINESS?

Some people simply get pleasure out of the purchase of material things, just like others may get pleasure out of skiing or climbing a mountain.

d))So it IS about happiness then...?

I know many people like this and they are fine, psychologically. Like others stated, it is simply a byproduct of our consumerist culture. The way i saw this in action however was more therapeutic, they would go shop when feeling bad, and then feel happy again...

Exactamo

Sebastian B.
03-23-05, 03:15 AM
Exactamo

Ok allow me to clarify. The first reference to unhappiness in my post ("I wouldnt say that buying unecessary things is a sign of unhappiness.") i was referring to a sustained depressive state, afterwards i meant by unhappiness the normal ups and downs everyone goes through. When they are feeling momentarily down they may go buy something to lift their spirits, just like someone else may write in a diary or take photographs.

Basically what i am trying to say it doesnt seem to me that people dont go shopping when they are properly depressed, rather only when they are momentarily depressed.

As for boredom being a sign of unhappiness, thats irrelevant. These people could solve their boredom in many other ways, such as writing a book or taking up a sport. They just select shopping as their preferred outlet.

duendy
03-23-05, 03:27 AM
right. and the main point i am getting across is that the media-spinners play on this spectrum of unhappiness by 'subliminally' manipulating peoples desires, so that they will unceasingly consume stuff they dont even NEED. And that this effect multiplied is having a disastrous effect on Earth's resources, and causing unprecendented toxicity for Nature, and peoples who are marginilized and have to live nearer to toxic sites (shit left over from modern technology)

Baron Max
03-23-05, 06:42 PM
Let me get this straight: Most of you feel/think that advertisers are telling people what to buy or not ....and most of you don't seem to like that. So ...to solve that issue, YOU want to be able to tell people what to buy or not, right?

Why is it y'all feel that people can't make up their own minds about what to buy or not without advertisers OR you telling them?

Baron Max

spidergoat
03-23-05, 06:58 PM
The media should be allowed to advertise, however insipid it might be. It's the individual's responsibility to not look at it. I do object to subliminal and public advertising, but they are open to creative vandalism. Telemarketing is the worst, I deliberately waste as much of their time as possible. It's fun, and you can sell the tapes as comedy. Or I just tell them to fuck off, I mean, they called me, so you don't have to be nice.

talk2farley
03-23-05, 10:50 PM
What motivates buyers to shell out money because some 30 sec commercial said so? We've all seen the "place your order now and get your free towel!" ads and wondered who'd be stupid enough to fall for them. But the madness doesn't stop there. People at the counter will at the last second grab a useless magazine, a bag of sweets, or even a key chain for no reason at all.

Does the consumer buy for fun? Do we just buy to look better off than our peers? Or is there subliminal messaging still going on in advertisements? :bugeye:

I think if we understand the motivation, we can better understand how to manipulate demand. Thoughts?

No rational person will ever buy something they don't need. This is elementary economics; people will tend to invest in those products with the greatest marginal utility. Value, however, is subjective. Basically, you're saying you disagree with the market choices of a given group of consumers. So are you somehow in a better position to tell me what will and will not give me market satisfaction than I?

This is the folly of anti-market arguments everywhere. They presuppose the arguers own omniscience. Ala, every moron out there is falling for evil Big Businesses "subliminal messages" except me, so naturally I should be in charge.

Sebastian B.
03-24-05, 03:13 AM
right. and the main point i am getting across is that the media-spinners play on this spectrum of unhappiness by 'subliminally' manipulating peoples desires, so that they will unceasingly consume stuff they dont even NEED. And that this effect multiplied is having a disastrous effect on Earth's resources, and causing unprecendented toxicity for Nature, and peoples who are marginilized and have to live nearer to toxic sites (shit left over from modern technology)


I see what your getting at, and i agree with it to a certain extent. But then what is the source of the problem? The people, for having their un-happiness in the first place or the media for abusing it?

@talk2farley

Your statement makes sense from a purely economic point of view, but that just simply leads me to believe that people are not rational. If someone buys something really expensive and uses it once or twice, isnt that buying something they dont need? I think thats what the thread is about. The reason i cant agree with you is because i have seen behaviour like this taking place...

cole grey
03-24-05, 03:33 AM
Turn it off.

I have gotten into the habit of changing the radio station as soon as a commercial comes on, and if all the stations I like have a commercial on at the same time I switch to a cd. I guess that is stealing the programming that I am supposed to listen to commercials to pay for, but they are selling our public airspace, which legally belong to the citizens of the united states, so I don't feel bad about it. I have to get massively microwaved, and radio waved every day living in Los angeles, so I am actually being exposed to the transmissions even if I can't decode them.

And 90% of TV is for morons, and you should be ashamed of yourself for even watching it, when you have the capacity to do something with your mind. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. I feel sorry for people who are parents who would be fighting a losing battle if they wanted to keep their kids away from the "idiot box".

I'm glad the ads on sciforums are for real ufo's and advertising like that, which I am not really susceptible to. And haven't we all seen return of the king by now? But I guess I still haven't seen 'Titanic', so maybe there are still people that haven't.

water
03-24-05, 03:58 AM
I see what your getting at, and i agree with it to a certain extent. But then what is the source of the problem? The people, for having their un-happiness in the first place or the media for abusing it?

I think the unhappiness, the feeling that one lacks something comes first. People try to solve their problems, and some of the solutions are merely compensations, band-aids, blankets that cover the problem but leave it unsolved.

Not that all economics is about this; but a lot of it is. Most of cosmetics and entertainment, at least.
One doesn't need 100 shades of brown dye for the hair. This is just an external way to make one seem special.

But once this machinery began to run, it was more and more hard to stop it.
If people would become rational consumers now, the economic system would collapse.



Your statement makes sense from a purely economic point of view, but that just simply leads me to believe that people are not rational. If someone buys something really expensive and uses it once or twice, isnt that buying something they dont need? I think thats what the thread is about. The reason i cant agree with you is because i have seen behaviour like this taking place...

Modern economics is based on the principle that people's desires will suddenly unpredictably change. In other words, they will be irrational. Now you like pink, next season you'll like baby blue.

talk2farley
03-24-05, 05:34 AM
If you're going to contend that people are not rational, it's rather difficult to argue much of anything. Ethics, economics, etc. all presuppose that you and I are capable of associateing gloves to hands.

You're still falling into the same pitfall. That someone disagrees with you on how often one must use an expensive item (expensive, itself, is also subjective) to derive from it the greatest value doesn't make them irrational.

duendy
03-24-05, 06:29 AM
[QUOTE=Sebastian B.]I see what your getting at, and i agree with it to a certain extent. But then what is the source of the problem? The people, for having their un-happiness in the first place or the media for abusing it?

It's a complex question dserving a complex
answer. This means that the exploration of it cant just begin with this subject, but has to include the mythology it springs from. A mythology that alREADY splits the individual from her/him self. Thus making them mis-trusting themselves.
You can research this linear development, from the Judaic-Christian indoctrination of 'original sin', to Freudian theories that we are manipulated by unconscious motives, and ust struggle against its darkest aspects, which he termed the 'Id'. So all of this is mythology that affects how the individual sees himself. Even people who don't read the Bible or Freud, or any of the views that shares these myths are affected, because they form the paradgim we live in.

So, generally threr is a dis-content. an alienation from Nature, and what Edward Bernays and the spin-masteres do is USE this un-happiness, and mis-placed desire to fill in a void. what Is the void? it is the oppression against fully being interelated with community and Nature. This lack leads to un-happiness. In pre-times the Church took the role to 'fill the void', which was really manipulation as their doctrine is a main causer of it!....now its consumersim. people flockin to the mall on a Sunday. like they used to at the Cathedral, and so on

Like Cole says, turn it off. i HATe ads. i feel they assault the aesthetifc sense. say you are watching some really intense film, and then every 5 mins these fukin dodgy ads are in yer face. it's a CRIME, and a mindfuyck

water
03-24-05, 02:31 PM
If you're going to contend that people are not rational, it's rather difficult to argue much of anything. Ethics, economics, etc. all presuppose that you and I are capable of associateing gloves to hands.

Of course. I'm not talking of irrationality in the sense of some sort of stupidity.
I'm thinking of "rational" in the sense that something is in a certain relation, in proportion (ie. ratio) to something else, and that this relation is economical, cost effective. Irrational is the opposite of that.



You're still falling into the same pitfall. That someone disagrees with you on how often one must use an expensive item (expensive, itself, is also subjective) to derive from it the greatest value doesn't make them irrational.

Modern consumerism is fostering the belief that natural resources are infinite. This is irrational.

The average person thinks from shopping to dumping, but has little idea of what it takes to make a product, and where it goes after it has been used.

Your view would be correct if the basis of all economy would be the production and the market: within them, there exists a different kind of rationality, that of offer and demand. Here, it is rational that if you have a lot of money, you buy a lot of, or expensive things and throw them away after little use.

But the basis of all economy are still natural resources.
Factories don't create products out of nothing, so to speak. If they would, and if, after use, the products would disappear, then modern consumeristic logic would be rational.
As long as making products depends on natural resources -- and they are not infinite --, buying something that you don't need and soon throwing it away is irrational, ie. it is not in an economical, cost effective relation to natural resources.

talk2farley
03-24-05, 10:35 PM
Nobody thinks resources are infinite. We deal with scarcity every day - if I decide to go bar hopping tonight, I will probably forgo eating dinner out. I tend to spend less money towards the end of the month, when bills are due, than at the beginning. Etcetera. Even the wealthiest of individuals must make economic choices. Nobody can have everything. The US government, for example, spends what, 2 trillion dollars annually? And it is constantly making budgetary decisions.

You are correct that consumers pay little attention to the production-side of goods and services. But it would be pointless for them to bother - consumers need only concern themselves with what they are able and willing to aquire given their income versus price levels. The producer handles such considerations as resource costs and availability versus total consumer demand when determining production possibilities at various price ranges. If oil were in as desperately short a shape as some enviros claim, the production costs would be driven up, decreasing qantity demanded by consumers and increasing demand for substitutes without their having to know or care about the increasing scarcity of the oil supply.

The inverse relationship between price and quantity demanded, the costs of resource extraction and mineral production, and the availability of substitutes encourage producers to use available resources as efficiently as possible, and to conserve those resources in least supply (see the diamond market, or the sale of seats on Soviet space ships - extremely high price points work to conserve what is an extremely scarce resource, diamonds and space ships).

water
03-25-05, 03:15 AM
Nobody thinks resources are infinite.

They may not think resources are infinite. But they surely behave as if they were infinite.

spuriousmonkey
03-25-05, 03:51 AM
Our minds are incapable of looking far into the future. It makes evolutionary sense not to think to far ahead. There is no point to it from that perspective.

duendy
03-25-05, 07:06 AM
Our minds are incapable of looking far into the future. It makes evolutionary sense not to think to far ahead. There is no point to it from that perspective.

Obviously you are dead wrong. and who are 'our minds'?

talk2farley
03-25-05, 04:18 PM
They may not think resources are infinite. But they surely behave as if they were infinite.

This is senseless. It simply is not possible for someone to behave as though resources are infinite. We all make countless choices daily regarding how best to allocate our specific ration of a scarce resource supply, and we are consciously aware of our desire for more than we aquire (thus, we are behaving in a manner consistent with a finite resource supply). This is elementary. The issue here is your disagreement with those choices, not the existence of the choices themselves. Less spin, please. When we say someone is "acting as though they have all day," it's figurative, not literal (we don't really believe that someone thinks they have all day to, say, cross a street). In reality, all we are saying is "I think your time could be better spent elsewhere." Note the "I think" and "your time." Value is subjective, and property right means if it isn't mine I don't get to say how it's used.


Our minds are incapable of looking far into the future. It makes evolutionary sense not to think to far ahead. There is no point to it from that perspective.

I don't see how anyone could take that statement seriously.

Chatha
04-03-05, 01:01 PM
Interesting topic. Firstly, we must point out that money itself is worthless without being invested in something, be it candy or a house. Give someone 500,000 and he would figure out needs automaticaly.Secondly, advertisement is all around us and we are used to second opinions by large.These marketing gurus have been around for hundreds of years and are now considering marketing "humanism" as well. Love, Idea, Faith, even happiness and antidepression is marketed these days. As it is we have no choice but to succumb in order to be human and a citizen.

duendy
04-03-05, 03:13 PM
NO!...you have the power of choice. you dont have to succumb to anyhing they are selling. remember, as long as there's the demand there's the supply!

Chatha
04-03-05, 06:19 PM
LOL I think you mean as long as there is supply there is demand.Indeed nobody demands what's not in supply anyway.Thanks anyway

Sebastian B.
04-04-05, 12:14 PM
Well, demand and supply are mutually existant, i dont see how one can exist without the other. In fact i would say that it is more correct to say that without demand supply does not exist. Can you name me any situations where something is being supplied that no one demands? I can name you at least one thing where there will be demand but not supply, of course something purely theoretical, but nontheless relevant...

Many people would like to stay young forever, we undoubtedly would have a large demand of a product that would make one young, but, no one can supply such a product.

Also, why do you think that America's efforts to stop the drug trade (specifically cocaine) in South America accomplished hardly anything? Because demand for the drugs still existed, therefore they concentrated on curbing demand (with education)...

What i am trying to say, is that demand seems able to exist (to some degree) without supply...

In any case, back to the topic, i dont see companies as necessarily evil just because they market their products. Its a logical thing to do. I think people need to learn themselves how to apply discretion to what they are buying...

Chatha
04-04-05, 12:35 PM
Well said Sebastian. One of my favourite name by the way. But you have to admit also that if you build it they will come. I don't think many people demanded illegal drugs, but its now a billion dollar trade today. Anybody can manufacture something and it will clowly creep into everyday civilization. As far as I know we still ate when we had no microwave or refridgerator. To me neither is more or less in control of any market, perhaps at certain times though.

Sebastian B.
04-04-05, 01:20 PM
Thank you very much :)

Yes i agree with you, the definition of market (economically) requires the presence of both supply and demand. Of course what you say about drugs is true, the supply is what stimulated the initial demand of drugs.

So then i guess we both agree :)

Johnny Bravo
06-04-05, 10:18 AM
Books, eating out, internet, music, music instruments are something that I buy and enjoy but really don't need.
I feel guilty about it..I know I should be putting that money in a Roth IRA or something for retirement.

cosmictraveler
06-04-05, 10:42 AM
I think if we understand the motivation, we can better understand how to manipulate demand. Thoughts?

So what is your point? Do you want to sell more things so that people will buy stuff they don't need? Do you want to sell things only that are needed?

guthrie
06-04-05, 06:53 PM
Why do people buy things they dont need? Because they think they need them. Markets are an exercise in phsychology, based upon the individual and social situations of the people in them. So, how can one help people to better understand what they need?

Sushupti
06-05-05, 01:14 AM
"Need" itself is relative...

A Canadian
06-05-05, 03:55 AM
It is all Math

Need = a
Want = b
Urge = c
Extra Money = d
Money = e
Unclear thinking = f
Advertizments = g
gender advertizments = h/i
Age bias advertizment = j/k/l
way, or form of life = m/n/o/p
location = r


I could go on.... all the way to Z and even further...

BUT WELCOME TO THE HUMAN CONDITION!

PEOPLE DO THINGS FOR THEIR OWN REASONS....

Let someone but something more expensive becuase it comes in a smaller and more colorfull case... OR let someone buy something that tastes better or whatever for cheaper....

I really do not care, but money makes the world go around
some know they are getting ripped off and some do not...
some care and some do not....
there is always a better deal out there....

but who really has the time... or effort to go about it.


The market is a most strange thing.... and I am not one to care about it.