Saturday, October 28, 2017

ouch! the market failed?

a former student asked me... what's market failure? i say, it's just around...i may have laughed answering it but it's true...market failure is a concept (within economic theory) describing that situation when the allocation of goods and services by a free market is not efficient. by 'not efficient', i meant, there exists another possible or conceivable outcome where a market participant may be made better-off without making someone else worse-off... it may be viewed as scenarios where an individuals' pursuit of self-interest leads to results that are not efficient – that can be improved upon from the societal point-of-view...

then he asked, what are the sources of market failure?... i say there are many but to name some we can start with (1)  public goods --- a public good is one, which if provided to one consumer, is freely available to all consumers like the street lights, parks and roads. this means no private firm is able to make a profit from providing such goods.  hence, government should ensure that such goods are provided at the socially desired level. another is (2) income distribution --- the market does not ensure equitable distribution of incomes. this may motivate government to put in place some policies to redistribute wealth through measures like income taxes.

then there's (3) monopoly --- the operations of monopoly (or natural monopoly) more often than not result in misuse of market power (inefficient allocation of resources too which reduce community welfare). here, at times, governments regulate monopoly and enforce laws preventing cartels. then the most famous (for those with background in economics) (4) externalities --- an externality arises when an activity confers a benefit (like the benefit of research or vaccine) or imposes a cost (pollution) on a third party, without the cost or benefit being included in the market price of that activity...

and saving for last is the most common (5) information asymmetries ---supposedly, buyers and sellers in a competitive market have complete knowledge about a product or service characteristics and quality but this is not always true in the real world... information asymmetries between producers and consumers can lead to market failure and reduce community welfare.. this is the part when WHAT YOU DO NOT KNOW WON'T HURT YOU doesn't work... 'coz believe me, it does!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

econ 101: externalities

externalities is an economic concept for "side-effect" or "spill-over". it occurs if a person’s activity affects the well-being of an uninvolved person. this term comes from the fact that someone external to the action or transaction is affected by the activity (or production of consumption of the good). this may be positive (externality) or negative (externality). A positive externality occurs if an activity creates benefits for uninvolved people. A negative externality occurs if an activity creates costs (harm or discomfort) for uninvolved people.

lately i have been thinking of this concept in a 'not-so-economist-way'. i have reason to believe that i have been experiencing negative externality. one person's activity have been affecting my well-being (as an uninvolved person in the activity) for about a month now.

have you ever been disturbed by 'noises' of a neighboring space while you are doing your 'writing jobs' ? (remedy: tell the 'whoever causes the noise' to tone it down or if to no avail, let them feel that you are disturbed in any manner you know how) ...have you ever inhaled second- hand smoke that lead you to bouts of irritating cough? (remedy: cough your lung out and drink lots of water or find out next time where/whom the smoke came from and politely ask him/her to just swallow it)...

have you ever been distracted knowing something illegal (or immoral) is going on nearby and you just can't (or so far, won't) do anything about it 'coz you might be branded as naive or self-righteous- so distracted that it costs you your peace during your established work-hours? (remedy: read your bible and ask for inner peace or sing your prayers out loud so your mind won't have space to think of other things or talk to the people involved as if they'd listen to you and feel ashamed that they'd stop doing it or find a new place and wonder what externalities will be in store in the new place)...i could go on and on about it but i guess somehow you get the picture. what are you to do? what am i to do? - still, das ist die Frage!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

my 10 favorites in the 48 laws of power

  • Law 1 Never outshine the master.
  • Law 2 Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies.
  • Law 3 Conceal your intentions.
  • Law 4 Always say less than necessary.
  • Law 5 So much depends on reputation. Guard it with your life.
  • Law 6 Court attention at all costs.
  • Law 7 Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit.
  • Law 8 Make other people come to you; use bait if necessary.
  • Law 9 Win through your actions, never through argument.
  • Law 10 Infection: avoid the unhappy and unlucky.
  • Law 11 Learn to keep people dependent on you.
  • Law 12 Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim.
  • Law 13 When asking for help, appeal to people's self-interests, never to their mercy or gratitude.
  • Law 14 Pose as a friend, work as a spy.
  • Law 15 Crush your enemy totally.
  • Law 16 Use absence to increase respect and honor.
  • Law 17 Keep others in suspended terror: cultivate an air of unpredictability.
  • Law 18 Do not build fortresses to protect yourself. Isolation is dangerous.
  • Law 19 Know who you're dealing with; do not offend the wrong person.
  • Law 20 Do not commit to anyone.
  • Law 21 Play a sucker to catch a sucker: play dumber than your mark.
  • Law 22 Use the surrender tactic: transform weakness into power.
  • Law 23 Concentrate your forces.
  • Law 24 Play the perfect courtier.
  • Law 25 Re-create yourself.
  • Law 26 Keep your hands clean.
  • Law 27 Play on people's need to believe to create a cultlike following.
  • Law 28 Enter action with boldness.
  • Law 29 Plan all the way to the end.
  • Law 30 Make your accomplishments seem effortless.
  • Law 31 Control the options: get others to play with the cards you deal.
  • Law 32 Play to people's fantasies.
  • Law 33 Discover each man's thumbscrew.
  • Law 34 Be royal in your fashion: act like a king to be treated like one.
  • Law 35 Master the art of timing.
  • Law 36 Disdain things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best revenge.
  • Law 37 Create compelling spectacles.
  • Law 38 Think as you like but behave like others.
  • Law 39 Stir up waters to catch fish.
  • Law 40 Despise the free lunch.
  • Law 41 Avoid stepping into a great man's shoes.
  • Law 42 Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.
  • Law 43 Work on the hearts and minds of others.
  • Law 44 Disarm and infuriate with the mirror effect.
  • Law 45 Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once.
  • Law 46 Never appear perfect.
  • Law 47 Do not go past the mark you aimed for; in victory, learn when to stop.
  • Law 48 Assume formlessness.



    *WIKI: The 48 Laws of Power is a 1998 book by Robert Greene.
    The book shares thematic elements with Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince
    and has been compared to Sun-Tzu's classic treatise The Art of War.


        Tuesday, August 22, 2017

        little brown man

        Little brown man 
        This is the song that I quoted in the dedication part
        of my dissertation about labor migration...
        I first heard this from Joey Ayala

        and it has haunted me since then.
        I have her sidekick/pretty friend/fellow musician
        Tapati to thank for for  this lyrics and chords :)



        Intro: D-C-Bm-C-D-Am-G-D-C-Bm-E-G-D-A

        I

        D             C                                 Bm       C
        glad to know you’re feeling better
        D                Am                                       G
        happy to hear you’ve found your mind
        D            C                                    Bm  E
        it’s no joke to be living in america
                             G                              D  A
        she ain’t friendly to our kind

        II

        D                       C                                Bm     C
        you’ll always be a second-class citizen
        D                   Am                      G
        even if you pay your taxes right on time
        D                              C                           Bm     E
        you struggled so hard to get that green card
                         G
        working under the table
                       Em                                      A   D
        calling home when you’re able to

        Refrain

        G                      C                                       A        D
        little brown man in the land of the giants
        G                      C                                         A      D
        little brown woman on the white prairie
        G                            D                                        C    
        hold on to your dollars don’t go on no shopping spree
                             G              Em                 A  
        you got to save it all for the family

        III = I
        everything’s disposable in the first world
        nothing’s indispensable - you can throw it all away
        good food in the garbage good people in the welfare line
        it happens all the time

        IV = II

        peaches and apples and grapes don’t make it all that easy
        bacon and eggs everyday can get to be a drag
        these fancy slums get cold when the winter comes
        chills you right to the bone
        and you wish you were home

        Refrain x 2

        D               G   /F#      Em    /D  C A      
        you got to save your soul
                           D-C-Bm-C-D
        for the family

        Sunday, July 16, 2017

        life...is what we make it II

        There were many times that my father was ‘absentee’ because of his work,
        and then he was ‘deceased’ and it somehow didn’t matter to me anymore.
        I knew that as the eldest, I have to be my mother’s assistant,
        even a partner in taking care of my siblings and make sure our house is a home-
        be it an extension of someone’s garage, a shanty by the ‘riles’ or
        a room of a house of a relative. There were happy times, yes.
        And we are truly a family, my mother and I made sure of that.
        Despite the hardships, we excelled in school.
        We were popular because we didn’t allow others to look down on us
        and we proved that we didn’t have to be rich to be so.

        As a family, we were a strange band of characters-- in the 80’s,
        my mother and the three of us, in the 90’s ‘minus’ my sister
        who died of leukaemia and another sister who was away from us for 10 years
        but then it’s also ‘plus’ a new sister and two brothers
        from my mother’s second marriage. We went through life sharing a lot- ideas,
        school supplies, socks, toothpaste (even bath towels at times),
        coveting one another's desserts, borrowing money, reading each other’s diaries,
        inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending,
        and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together…
        and that common thread is my mother or the love for her.

        Family (of origin) shaped my life in one way or another- who I am now
        (and I have my own family), how I act, and how I keep my values,
        and especially how I formed my identity. I have to form my own identity
        besides the pre-wired identity that my family built because I realized that
        I cannot depend on that (there were times I do not know what I want to be,
        but I am quite sure of what I don’t want to be so I take it from there).

        I remember some seven years ago, a girl called and told me that her dying father
        is my father too, and that I have to give my forgiveness so that he would die in peace.
        Fast forward, no one knows yet if this was true but I had another family added on my list.
        Here, I was exposed to stories of how ‘this father’ was and how I came to observe
        that we share a lot of commonalities and this made me wish I have met them
        (he and his family) before he died. My choices and priorities now
        are based on what I wanted my new family to be – less complicated, intact and
        ever-present for each other. This wouldn’t be difficult (I hope)
        because we’re a family of three.

        But then I asked myself once:
        would I be this strong-willed, patient, and passionate and
        beautifully disturbed enough to try to help the least-favoured if we haven’t gone
        through all those life’s struggles and complexities?
        That is a question I wouldn’t risk answering by application now.

        Friday, June 30, 2017

        for miyako






        Noise from empty drums
        Nothing but polluted air
        Play deaf if you must.