Bad Monetary Incentives

Our world is centered around the economy and money. That’s one of the few tangible ways we’re able to assign value/measure progress that certain people make to some end-acheivable goal of helping humanity. While some make money in ways that don’t help humanity at all, it’s one of the few systems which we’ve implemented at a scale large enough to sustain constant iteration and growth. While many people will say the economy is a good thing, I just want to spend some time to point out the bad.

First is this idea of attention-grabbing/the monetization of attention. This is a more niche issue and one that has come up from the idea of people wanting to push their products as much as possible through adverstising. This has made sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Google all sites which are able to grab the attention of people and then monetize through ads. Is this not toxic? Sure, it allows sellers to push more product but as users of this social service which is supposed to help us connect with other people all over the world, does it not feel toxic that our attention is being unconciously controlled and juiced away without any real control? Sure, you can try to put a limit on things yourself but all these services do is think about the bottom line which doesn’t incentivize them to try to get you to use the service in a healthy way.

Next is the idea of a barrier of entry. Many times, people at the bottom are stuck at the bottom and people at the top rarely every leave the top. This is because each class, after they are at that level find it hard to do anything that will get them out of it (in the case of poverty) and find it easy to make more money (if they’re at the top). The playing field isn’t even and people who historically have been at the top as a family, just stay at the top. Is there a way to level the playing field in such a way that everyone has to be a self-made man, given equal resources? Obviously, I don’t know the answers but it’s an honest question.

A final think to think about is global warming. We simply aren’t incentivized to care about issues such as global warming since it isn’t affecting us really that much right now. Atleast, that’s what people think. How can the economy work to also work toward these Earth goals and other existential issues that could cause collapse?

Just random thoughts before Thanksgiving.