Boy, am I ever of two minds about this one. Tyler Cowen says “stop whining.” He’s talking about all those early Iphone adopters, ticked off at the Ifolks for cutting prices (link). “Get this,” snarls
“I just felt so used as a consumer,” he said. “They hyped up the iPhone for six months and built up our expectations, and then they grabbed our extra $200 and ran.”
Here is another guy:
“I feel totally screwed,” wrote one iPhone owner on the Unofficial Apple Weblog site. “My love affair with Apple is officially over.”
OK, people, it's no more Mr. Nice Guy. I'm fed up! No more moderation, no more namby-pamby conciliations to those I disagree with, at least not today. I am plain, hopping mad. … It is you people, you who resent Coase (1972), you people who induce wage and price stickiness and widen the Okun gap. You people, who don't know what it means to sit back and enjoy your consumer surplus. You beasts!
Well—yes, of course, he’s absolutely right, six ways to the Jack. They are whiners—silly, childish, blind to their own interests and the common good. But have we ever had a more remarkable example of an economist complaining (though perhaps with his tongue just edging close to his cheek) that the rest of us don’t behave like economists? Of course he’s right, but isn’t it even a teensy bit interesting that the rest of the world just doesn’t seem to get it—231 years after Adam Smith, 150-odd years after Ricardo, etc., that people still keep persist in acting like, well like people? Which is to say either (a) just not acting like economists tell them they act; or (b) leading economists to ever-more lurid, convoluted ad hoc explanations to tell them they really were acting like economists all along?
A gold-plated cigar to the first person who points to a blog post showing that the whiners really have been acting “economically” all along. Meanwhile, we can entertain ourselves with a whole spate of books (including this one, this one, this one, this one, this one) devoted to proving that the sun really does rise (as it did in John Wayne’s Viet Nam movie) in the west.
But, as I say,