Superfreakonomics Paper

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To be completely honest, when I first signed up for the course entitled ‘AP Macroeconomics,’ I truly had no idea what the ‘macro’ in the word meant. Of course I knew the meaning of economics—it’s everywhere in these trying times of the economy, plus, it was a vocab word in middle school. Now that I’ve read Super Freakonomics, I have an understanding of what the prefix in the word actually means and I find it interesting, perhaps even a future career option, or major in college. This book made me think in different ways, ways that I never imagined to think of before; in one way, I may even say it changed my life in opening my mind to different outlooks on numerous topics such as prostitution and life insurance, to using seat belts and making sure your doctor has washed his hands before that checkup—even the way money affects human (or maybe monkeys) lifestyle.

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Unfortunately, I do not believe in anyone being simply altruistic, as much as I want to, and it’s sad. Humans are selfish animals. In this chapter, the authors write about an experiment done in a lab to see if altruism actually did exist by playing a game with money (a person was given a certain amount of money in which they had to split with somebody else). The average amount of money given away was twenty percent of their own, and although the scientists believe this to be an example of altruism, I have to disagree. I believe the people did that since it wasn’t their own money to spend in the first place—they hadn’t earned the money themselves, they were just receiving it, so why not give some away?

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I’d recommend it to anyone; I’d even consider re-reading it. Now, the epilogue of this novel really is what had me thinking, though. Those scientists who taught the monkeys how to use a money system to receive treats and such (even prostitution eventually) were genius. It really captured how the money system may be what causes so much corruption and crime in our society. After reading the last section of this book, I thought going back to olden times where the barter system was the way to receive the needs of living may actually be the way to go—but then again, you shouldn’t complain about the present because the past isn’t really all that better, right?

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