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economics
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 // 2:20 AM

So for the longest time, I gave no shits about microeconomics, my gen ed for the semester. The first few weeks were super interesting mainly cos I understood it, and really the only reason that was the case was because it reflected the most basic general knowledge. Like everything was logical cos it reflected common sense. Like, if you're charging 5$ for an apple, and your neighbour is charging 50c, you would probably want to lower your price, cos you won't be able to sell anything.

Anyway, that lasted a good 2 weeks, then they started using all this jargon and you know, back in primary and high school, how the teachers would always say "you can't use the word your defining in your definition"... Well, it turns out the people in ECON1101 didn't get that memo and it became a little convoluted, mainly because I don't come from an economics/business background.

It wasn't until today that I was fully immersed in proper ECON1101 goodness, and I actually understood and enjoyed everything I was taught. We went through the concept of monopoly (not the game, unfortunately). Anyway, within it, my tutor was talking about price discrimination and I guess I found it so captivating cos it's not something you tend to think about. Like, there is one set price for a certain good and that's the way it is for everyone, no matter what financial background you come from. Like, I've never really questioned why that is, I just thought that it was fair. And that is the concept they're trying to convey. But there is always price discrimination and companies have found ways to work around it, without it being prejudice and illegal.

Anyway, people and companies want to charge you a certain amount, depending on how much you earn and how much you're willing to spend on a certain good. Like in Thailand, the people who don't like to haggle at markets are willing to pay an insane 400 Baht for elephant pants, and the vendors let it happen, but for the people who want to haggle, they can get it down to about 120 Baht and the vendors are still quite happy to sell it at that price too. But the world doesn't consist of flea markets unfortunately, and more often than not you can't haggle at department stores or supermarkets.

So what companies have done is, they categorize us into groups. There are obviously people who are price takers and will buy things as the RRP, but for the people who refrain because it's too much or whatever, companies have implemented a concept called "menu pricing" kinda like the set menus you can get at restaurants and stuff. You get packaged deals which include x amount of courses for this much money. And each package price and each individual price varies, and from there they can determine which group you fall into (i.e. super stingy, don't really care, or lives lavishly lol these aren't real groups btw). Anyway, in the same way, stores and companies have deals like buy 2 get 1 free, like we do at Dymocks. The price per item decreases, but overall you're spending more in 1 go and that's all that matters to them appaz.

There were some really interesting examples, but I've forgotten most of them, damn. But anyway, they can target certain groups. Like, if you're a student you are eligible for certain discounts like on move tickets or online clothes stores and that, same with pensioners. Then they can track you, and they start putting up ads all over your facebook catering to your student needs. That's how they reel you in. Same way with airlines and plane tickets. Depending on the day of week (appaz it's 5% cheaper on tuesdays) and what time of the day you buy, they can categorize you into these groups. Like if you buy anytime before 5 pm they assume that you're buying for leisure and they offer you a deal, but if you buy after 5 pm they categorize you as a "business" person, and the deals are withheld because if you're travelling on business, you are a price taker cos you have to go where you need to go. Like, shit like this is so interesting. Oh yeah, one more thing that I thought was like wow, apparently with concert tickets, they vary from city to city depending on that city's median income value. No wonder shows in Syd are always a little more expensive than in other cities in Aus :(

Anyway, my tutor recommended a follow up course which looks at all this stuff, and I am contemplating doing it, but I have a feeling there are other prereq's and it'll probably be super hard.

Oh well, guess I'm stuck with Introduction into the Workplace and Terror and Religion. Should be good. I feel so free now. I have 1 hand in and 1 exam next week. It hasn't been this cruisey in a while :)

How have y'all been?