Freakonomics

A friend a while ago recommended reading Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, I eventually bought it but it kinda sat on my bookcase for a while. Recently I picked it up and was blown away by it.

I took enough hours in economic classes in uni that I actually could have majored in economics. I find it to be an absolutely fascinating field that you could find the answers or at least some sort of correlation between at least one or more objects/questions.

Freakonomics definitely didn’t disappoint the nerdy me.

1. The chapter about why drug dealers still live with their moms is an interesting way of thinking about that particular way of life. You would think that the money that comes from drugs would make a drug dealer a very rich man (woman) but then you take into account the fees you would pay for the ability to sell drugs in your particular area, money you would spend to avoid unpleasant situations,  money for your product, etc. and you really don’t have much leftover to afford the big house, the cars, etc.

2. And the idea that a “posh” name eventually cycles to be a “poor” name, because parents are trying to/hoping that a name will give their child something more than their current circumstances. And that adoption matters to a child’s performance in primary education, but eventually mattes less as they grow up, is also a fascinating, discussion worthy topic.

3. One thing that I did disagree with was that Roe v. Wade was in part responsible for the decrease in crime in the States during the 1990s. I do agree that less educated, women from the lower-end of the socioeconomic ladder were having abortions and that the numbers are in their favor that they would most likely have run-ins with the law. And apparently since Roe v. Wade, over an estimated 13 million Black babies have been aborted, which by itself is a staggering number, and to put it a little more in perspective, the former Czechoslovakia had a population of 15 million people. But I argue a bit that Roe v. Wade removed a lot of the stigmatism from abortion for middle class women. Yes it lowered costs of an abortion and improved the quality,  but it removed a great deal of stigmatism and shame from abortion and became a sort of birth control for some women. Those were the majority of babies that aborted, the ones that would have been contributing to Social Security, and not to the welfare system.

Overall it was a great book, extremely thought provoking that I can’t wait to discuss with friends. Now if I could have access to a library or a bookstore that would have the follow-up book…

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