The individual and the group

There are behaviors that individually seem good, but can be a social problem. The inverse is also true, seemingly bad behaviors individually can be a social benefit.

Take running a profitable business. Every company wants to charge big dollars and pay as little for wages as possible to maximize profits. However, if every company pays poorly, there is no money for employees to make the economy go around with. The individual problem of maximizing profit, leads to a social problem.

The inverse example is marketing. Study marketing enough, and it seems like a set of manipulative and possibly deceitful tactics. However, every charity, every positive invention, every good idea that has pushed the world forward and every job is a benefit of marketing. Individually, it can seem like a bad thing, but socially it’s a positive.

Nothing happens in a vacuum. What is good for an individual may not be good for a group and vice versa. Seeing this and the trade-offs that come from it makes the world more interesting.