To allocate them differently by eliminating certain kinds of jobs entirely (e.g. fashion designers) does not imply that they create the same dollar worth in another job, or that they like their new job equally much.
But a worthless job is still a worthless job. Granted maybe not all fashion is completely worthless, but I think its not hard to see its not proportional to what it should be if humans were smarter.
Just because it creates worth to a human doesn't mean it creates practice worth for humans, humans are too easy to manipulate for that. An example might be Peter Popoff. You might say he comforted people which is what he has his worth in, but you can be left to wonder how many people ignored actual health ricks for that and wasted what little money they might have had to do some thing about it.
But if people derive genuine pleasure from it, it has value. After all, money is the unit of caring, and that people are ready to pay such sums on fashion and art is pretty good evidence that they must care about it.
People caring about it doesn't mean they get happiness from it, and short term happiness isn't always worth it like in the Peter Popoff example. Another example are some fads. People often get things because they feel those things will make them happy (because they were told they need this to be happy) or it will make them more popular, these are the things I have the biggest problem with. Fashion seems to be the genre of hobbies that is most extremely infested with this.
If a lot of people are ready to pay for a bundle of experiences in which someone saying "hello" is a part, then it did indeed do something beneficial. Why else would they pay for it?
I think you place to much faith in people rational decision making. I know a girl that spent $30 for faster shipping by 7 days for colored contacts that were $20. There was NO need for it, its not like she was cosplaying 3 days later or any thing. This same girl wouldn't let her boyfriend spend $250 on a required boots for his work, he could get fired for not having it. That's 12% of the cost for his boots she wasted because she's so impatient she can't wait a week.
According to you, since people are willing to spend the extra $30 on fast shipping it must be beneficial? I doubt you think that. Do you think that its the best we can do? I don't, I think these bad habits in people can be worked on, at the very least we can work on it in ourselves.
I think they are the exact opposites of waste. They provide hedonistic value to all their users, distracting them from their general misery and allowing them to feel pleasure and amusement. This is exactly the short-sighted thinking that led Stuart Armstrong to conclude: "If there were an existing poorer population, then the right thing to do would be to redistribute wealth, and thus lose the last copy of Akira. However, currently there is no existing poor population, hence I would oppose it coming into being, precisely because it would result in the lose of Akira."
He saw that as a defeat of total utilitarianism. But it's not. It just means that a world with fewer people who are entertained is better than a world with more people who have the questionable benefit of mere existence in a state of non-entertainment. Now you could argue that people could just spend time with each other, or having sex, or singing instead of buying music. But that, too, requires time and coordination, resources even (e.g. for contraception). And to diversify one's hedonistic assets means to derive pleasure and distraction from more than one source. For some people (not for me), fashion is clearly a part of this. If you think the pleasure of entertainment is not needed, then when, and how, will people finally be happy?
I do think its a part of being happy, I just think its extremely off balance right now.
People in the high-end of entertainment make FAR too much money for their worth. You can argue this might be proportional because of the tones of people who try to make it in entertainment but are barley paying the rent. To be a better way of life for every one would be cut down the high-end to be more reasonable (instead of football plays or fashion deniers making millions while people in 3rd world countries starve, they only should make 60k a year or less like a lot of other people).
I agree, fewer more happier people seems to be a better way to go, but right now we have almost 7 billion people on earth and a scary high number of them starve to death.
I do think spending time on other things different from a lot of the most common in our society (mine at least) would be much more beneficial. Why spend $10 to see a movie with friends when you can just hangout with them? Again my biggest problem is the distribution. There are cheaper ways for entertainment that are pretty much equal that people don't take advantage of. Why spend $10 to see a movie when you can get it for free legally? Public libraries (here in the US) have almost every movie ever made. There is often better music online for free. I get that music is subjective, but why spend 18 on a Nicki Minaj CD with 22 songs, I see nothing different about her from any other (bad or good, but in her case I think more bad than good) musician other than it seems her fan base is dumb enough to buy her CD's. There is an almost unlimited amount of better quality (again, how much a person likes music is subjective, but I think any one can find some thing musically they like as much if not more online) music for every genre online for free. Very talented people make a lot of good music for the fun of it, and provide it for free online.
http://www.youtube.com/user/MonstercatM ... ture=watch
I got lazy with that list, I can still keep linking you to prove a point :p but I don't think its necessary.
If I tried hard enough, I think I could find a thousand + artists for every music genre that make music mostly because they want to and provide it for free.
I see no reason why some one would pay for music other than for popularity of the artist (aka every one likes then and got their CD so I need to too) or because of ignorance.
Ah, but this ignores all the pirates on the internet, and all the people watching it over the years later for free in one form or another. A lot of these pirates live in countries with low per-capita income, and the $10 you pay at the box office is already calculated to offset the cost of piracy.
I disagree. I don't think the price is high to account for pirates, I wouldn't watch a movie even if I couldn't get it for free online or from public libraries. I don't think this high price comes from a drain in the market. People that "steal" movies don't add to the production cost, they just don't contribute to the income. The high production cost comes from wastefulness, for example paying actors millions.
Piracy isn't a cost, its just does not contribute to a profit. That mindset assumes people must watch that movie. Premise A, all people watch the movie. Premise B, those that pirate it online don't contribute to income the movie makes. Conclusion, every one that pirates creates a cost that the company needs to account for.
The budgets for these movies should not be this high, the cost to see them should not be this high either. Standard forms of capitalism just don't seem to work in the entertainment industry. Movies tend not to have competition for who can create the lowest ticket price for the best quality movie, instead it turns into who can convince the most people that this is the best movie to see and you must see the best movie. I've never heard anyone way options in ticket price.
I agree with physical forms of waste like these, and it subtracts from the value of spending on fashion, art or entertainment. But it doesn't reduce the value to zero, and it is a necessary side-effect of a capitalistic system where people in demand can choose to waste resources.
According to youtube musicians it does reduce the value to almost zero, many do it for the fun.
This doesn't mean we can't work against the system by making better choices and telling those around us to make better choices.
Plus, the standard form of capitalism doesn't appeal to me, but that's another subject.