Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Scarcity Brings out the Worst

In our last class on Monday someone raised the question of scarcity and if it makes people violent. When I heard this story I was shocked but felt that it was a great example of what we were talking about.
It is the Christmas season, people are trying to get all of their shopping done. But what happens when everyone wants to give the same gift, the new PlayStation 3 game system for example. In my home town of Putnam CT about two weeks ago a long line of eager customs formed outside of the local Wal-Mart (the same one that I shop at when I am home) waiting for the doors to open so they could grab the PS 3. Two gunmen walked up and down the line demanding money and the one man who resisted was shot. Not too far in Manchester CT a shopper was beaten and robbed of his PS 3. Has everyone gone crazy? People are getting shot over PlayStations?! Clearly scarcity in even luxury items brings out that animal instinct in people.

2 comments:

morgan marks said...

It kind of puts the whole idea of scarcity into perspective for us, since the problems of food, money, materials etc. are not normally scarce to us... but a luxury item such as a playstation is. Think about the homeless, or people who live in the projects ... people in foreign countries without food, water, shelter. They truly know what it is like to live in conditions where scarcity prevails - it's a day to day battle... and the sad part is here in the United States people get shot over not being able to have the newest cool holiday item, a playstation ... ridiculous.

hewhowould said...

Wow! Who would ever have thought that people would get shot over a PlayStation 3. Scarcity in this situation applies to the ability to sell the PlayStation at a high price. Now the people who killed for one I don’t think planed on using it but rather obtained it for the sole purpose of selling it for a lot of money. I would hate to see what happens if a famine brakes out in the US and people fought over things they really needed.