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Social Choice and Beyond
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Issues for a Social Choice Based Political-Economic System (3): Advertising
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Social Choice
Would there be advertising in a social choice based economy? There wouldn't be any need for advertising since advertising is done only to entice you to buy a particular product. In a capitalist society, each company is privately owned and it's in its self-interest to get you to buy their products. This incentive would not hold in a social choice based economy or Preferensism. Instead of being enticed to buy, consumers would initiate the buying process by checking out the products available, the ratings of these products and the pricing. This can be conveniently done online where even today the entire range of products ratings, suppliers and pricing is available.

In Preferensism it is of no concern to society as a whole which products are chosen since whether or not certain business enterprises prosper or flounder is of no concern except for the fact that businesses that don't produce well or don't produce products that people want will be dismantled while other businesses will be expanded or started. Society is neutral and disinterested in which particular products are bought and sold. The workers, however, cannot lose their jobs since everyone has equal access to the job market. They will be reabsorbed in other businesses.

The motive for advertising today is to get you to buy a product or service so that the provider of that product or service can prosper - not because it is the best product or service for you. In Preferensism, the goal would be to assist the consumers in making the decisions that are best for them. Preferensist society is completely neutral as to which decisions are actually made by consumers because there are no vested interests. People don't have to fear losing their jobs. Enterprises don't need to fear going bankrupt. There would be no such thing as bankruptcy only disassembling and assembling of enterprises that would be done strictly in terms of the relevance of those particular businesses to society.

How to be an intelligent consumer should be taught in school since it is something people do almost every day of their lives. Resisting advertising and doing your own research into what is actually best for you is something that is possible today. The internet has websites that do ratings of products, price comparisons, ratings of suppliers etc. Advertising is no longer necessary in order to inform consumers as to what's available. A Google query on a particular generic term will bring up all the products that are available in that area.

Posted by jclawrence at 5:08 PM PST

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