In the book Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, economics is explored through every possible question. The book is divided into six main ideas with no common theme. It’s about thinking sensibly about how people act in the real world. It gives an insight into the minds of human beings.
In Chapter 2, “How Is The Ku Klux Klan Like a Group of Real-Estate Agents.” I found it interesting to see the authors describe Real Estate Agents as a group of people similar to the Ku Klux Klan. I never really thought about it but that is one way to keep them from living in your neighborhood, city or state. Scaring them and burning them out, but you would never see them reeking havoc in their own neighborhoods, unless someone they didn’t want to live there was a threat. This is a perfect way of describing how real estate agents control who lives where.
It was interesting to here about Martha Stewart, and big companies like WorldCom, get smashed on for their dishonesty. It’s been all over the news, but here the author gives an idea that the Internet is the common tool between all of the corporate scandals of the early 2000s. When ever you are having a consultation done from a lawyer, doctor, financial analyst, or real estate agent, your are impressed by their expertise, and therefore as the customer you are in fear to challenge their ideas. Maybe you’ll ask questions, but you couldn’t insult them and say that they are wrong. Experts make money from depending on the fact that you don’t know the information they have, and the Internet is making this more challenging for the experts, because now the information is out there for anyone to use. I believe it is hard to find an honest professional, because the relationship is based on a service performed and rendered, the agent will usually take advantage of you to make more money. To prevent this, as consumers we must utilize our resources and do our homework before saying yes. “Cheating is a primordial economic act: getting more for less.” The way that society is today it is hard not to assume that everyone could be cheating.
It’s unbelievable! “In a given year there is one drowning of a child for every 11,000 residential pools in the United States.” You wouldn’t think that pools would be more dangerous than guns. I am very surprised about that, and all parents should know this. Before becoming a parent I think it should be mandatory to go to parenting school. I think it would be a great idea if you should have to take a test called something like parenting 101, and get a license to become a parent. You need a license to drive a car, a motorcycle, to sell real estate, insurance, but you don’t need a license to raise a human being, something is not right here. Maybe this would decrease the crime rate. There will always be crime, but hopefully one day we will come to a solution on how to stop it and come to peace. Just like crime is inevitable, so is fear. Which leads me to another good part of this book. I found interesting that boating accidents are more common than airplane crashes, and about forty thousand people die in car accidents each year and fewer than a thousand die in airplane crashes. All of these thoughts emerge the emotion of fear, an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous or likely to cause pain. I agree that fear is always there. You just have to be able to live with it and handle so it doesn’t alter your life negatively.
My favorite chapter is Chapter 6 Perfect Parenting, Part II; or: Would a Roshanda by Any Other Name Smell as Sweet? I always wanted to know why African Americans name their children Roshanda or Liquesha. Why do they want their children’s names to sound so different? I agree with the statistics that the kind of parent that is most likely to give a child such a distinctively black name is unmarried, low-income, undereducated teenage mother from a black neighborhood who has a black name too. It’s a cultural tradition, it’s been going on for so long that if you name your black son or daughter a predominately white name, you would be looked at and talked about. Racism is still a big issue, but even the one’s in the same race category could be discriminated against if you don’t name your child a name from the neighborhood. On the other side, the whites need to be more creative when choosing a name, and stop naming their son Michael! I think there are not enough names to go with the population today, so you could either do it like the blacks and make something funky up, or like the whites do, ask your friend what she named her child, and name your child that. I think I’m lucky to have my name, because it’s not funky and it’s unique, at least for now, and not for long because I’ve been hearing and seeing a lot of little Haley’s around.
I did not expect to see the Roe v. Wade case discussed in a book about economics. A very controversial issue of abortion was discussed so heavily throughout the book. I can’t believe what happened in Romania to Nicolae Ceausescu, after he banned abortion. Life was bad for most of the children brought into the world filled with poverty and crime. Childhood poverty and a single-parent household are too of the strongest predictors of future criminality. The crime rate started to drop in the early 1990’s in the United States, after Ceausescu was shot in the head on Christmas Day of 1989 in Romania. I thought the crime-drop explanation that the authors cited from articles published from 1991 to 2001 were interesting. Innovative policing strategies, increased number of police, tougher gun control laws, and increased reliance on prisons are some of the reasons why. Crime prevention has been a challenge around the world forever. It is interesting to here these explanations, but I don’t think I can say they have any real correlation for why crime has dropped.
The author’s idea on gangs is so bona fide and I really liked it. He thinks gangs are like business. Crack cocaine was an unbelievable innovation for gangs who lived in the inner cities because it gave them a way to make a lot of money. The market was great for Crack Cocaine in the 1990s, because the high lasted for only fifteen minutes, and when you were coming down all you wanted was more. The gang is just like the restaurant McDonalds by the way its organized, very unique concept. It’s true though the head of the gangs think there the board of directors, the franchisors in McDonalds are the entrepreneurs in the gang, the one’s who get people to join, and grow new gangs. The money that each gang member made was based on rank, and that’s the same way it is in a corporate office. I can’t believe I never thought of this, I think it’s a brilliant comparison.
This book has given me a greater look on the most commonly thought about ideas, that most of the time is unspoken. Each chapter I read was so unexpected, and so outrageous that I found myself talking about it to anyone who would listen. I had great feedback on every topic, because the conversations were entertaining and enlightening, on topics that were always there, just never spoken about. This is a great book to share with friends at a social, in the office, or just hanging around with the family. Everyone should read this book at least once.