Social Economics

I’m going to write this here… because. [Note: This is me thinking “out loud.” I just needed to converse my thoughts, even if just with myself. Comments?]

Today in Afrocology (African American Studies) we were discussing the current economic situation of the Black community and what needed to be done to change it. This notion of “equality” was thrown into the mix, in reference to the idea that people should treat other people “equally.” So two people, with the exact everything, go to a bank to get a home loan. One person is Black, the other white. What I’m told happens is the Black person gets denied or a higher interest rate on average than the White. There are a million different situations like this displaying the disparities of Blacks and Whites (I won’t mention other races, colors and whatnot for simplicities sake.)

The question again was “How do we make it ‘better’ for the Black community?” A lot of people had answers that were basically “People need to treat people equally.” Yeah, but how? I came up with an answer I’m pleased with, but first I’d like to dissect the thought process I went through before arising at my answer.

First I thought about the various social policies that have been put into place that are suppose to make things more equal. Things like affirmative action (and others I’m sure.) Then, for some reason I related that to the good ol’ supply and demand curves.

Supply and Demand

What we see there at P sub e is the equilibrium price. That’s when looking at Price vs. Quantity. Now when there is government policy to fix prices (with ceilings or floors) that can potential throw things out of equilibrium causing shortages and surpluses. Controlling prices with policy as opposed to a real change in the demand/supply curve is, generally, a “bad” thing (I think.)

Now, I currently don’t know exactly how to express it, but I feel like that graph could somehow show the impact of socio-economic policies (things like affirmative action.)

What I’m saying is there’s an equilibrium level to… the current status of the social view of a Black Man. Lets say “the people” think that view is inaccurate and want to raise it to a higher level. That can be done two ways. By setting a floor to the socially accepted view of a Black Man, making it “illegal” to view one as anything lower than the predefined limit. Or there could be a real change in the XYZ curve which makes the new and higher view real, as opposed to a governmentally/societally fixed one.

I think that came out OK :S

Anyhow, my answer to the question (this wasn’t the real question, but I believe it catches the essence of it) “How can things in the Black Community be made better?” is Real and Lasting changes within the Black community. I think “forcing” people to see things a certain way is similar to fixing prices.

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4 Responses to Social Economics

  1. miltownmom says:

    I think you’re missing something in your focus on supply side economics. You should check out the author Stiglitz (I think that’s how you spell it) or it might be Stieglitz–I’ll have to check. Supply side economics works partially, but in a world affected by things like discrimination, politicians, etc., it has never worked perfectly. You’ll need to do some more reading.

  2. miltownkid says:

    No… I didn’t mean to mix the two up. I’m saying that I think things like discrimination could/should be represented with a 2D model… maybe.

    I don’t know if it came across clearly, but I meant to say that making certain views/opinions taboo doesn’t fix the problems their trying to… I might have to spend more time with this one.

  3. MTK's Latina says:

    i’m a bit confused hon… i understand what you are trying to get to, and i have read your theory twice just to make sure, but i kinda agree with your mom. which part of your theory plays the role of the supply curve? would it be the social policies that the government has tried to implement on society? because if so is the case, then i would think that there would be a shortage on the supply of social policies hence the reason for things not being equal. or… could it be that society (if society plays the demand curve) is not demanding as much from the government to implement these policies? and in your theory, where exactly would your price floor fall, because if it is set above Pe, then there would be several side-effects.
    i don’t know if you understand what i am saying… (email me!)

  4. J3 says:

    just to throw it in there…

    I know other people in the same situation as I am- some in worse situations. (and to be fair, no they arent all white… ghost and I have had LOTS of racial conversations based on similar theories, actually… )

    I cant get my condo to save my life right now XD the mortgage company has decided to do an Executive Risk Assessment on me… and he has never even HEARD of it before. So yeah… I cant see how black/white matters when it comes to MORTGAGES… only from personal experience. I could go more in depth… but Im at work and Im trying to find the forum since if/when this condo doesnt go through, Im planning on saving up for Taiwan in 2009.

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