Monday, December 13, 2010

Getting It versus Miller Lite Beer

I learned the other day that NYU Law School's Career Services department, in order to keep students interested (for their own good) in reading a weekly newsletter, sometimes offers drawings for free prizes. They recently offered free copies of Getting It, and within a few hours 15 students had signed up.

Given that interested parties can easily obtain Getting It for a reasonably modest price at any time, I was reminded of those beer commercials in which twenty-something guys will go to insane lengths to get their favorite brew (preferring it to their girlfriends or wives, etc.) even though every block in town has a store selling 6-packs of it for modest prices. These dark Brechtian fables always draw me into idle philosophical rumination concerning why these guys confuse the two distinct concepts of reservation price/subjective value and market price/scarcity cost from having to forego competing budget allocations, or perhaps just why they would inspire what I assume is expected to be bemused self-recognition among the viewers.

Then again, a less charitable (to me) alternative interpretation would be that the responding students value Getting It more than the time cost of sending an e-mail but less than the market price.

On the whole, I think I'll stick with the Brechtian angle on this.

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